Homicide Detectives have travelled to Western Australia to interview a
suspect in relation to the disappearance of Elisabeth Membrey in 1994.
Investigators interviewed the 41-year-old man from Don Valley yesterday
afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation that has spanned more than
Evidence located at the time has led investigators to believe that
Ms Membrey has been murdered.
Ms Membrey was last seen at 11.45pm on 6 December 1994 after she
left the Manhattan Hotel in Ringwood where she was employed at the time.
In January 2006, a $1 million reward was offered for information
leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ms
In addition to the reward, the Office of Public Prosecutions will
consider indemnifying persons acting as accessories to the murder, but
will not indemnify the principal offender.
No charges have yet been laid.
search into Elisabeth Membrey disappearance
Friday, 11 December 2009 00:49
Detectives from Victoria Police's Homicide Squad are
hoping someone in the Karratha, WA area will be able to shed
some light over the disappearance of Elisabeth Membrey in
Investigations have led police to believe that a number of
local people have spoken to a person of interest in this case
who has divulged information about the night Elisabeth
Detectives are hoping someone with crucial information
will come forward and provide them with details to solve this
This appeal follows the 15th anniversary of Elisabeth's
disappearance which occurred on December 6, 1994.
Elisabeth Membrey was last seen leaving the Manhattan
Hotel in Ringwood at 11.45pm on that date.
The next day, blood was discovered in her Bedford Road,
Ringwood unit and police have concluded that she met with foul
The disappearance is being treated as an unsolved murder.
A $1 million reward was offered in 2006 for information
that leads to a conviction. The reward still stands.
Homicide Squad Detective Leading Senior Constable Tim Peck
said police were hoping to finally bring some closure to
Elisabeth's family and friends.
"We're urging anyone with information to come forward to
help put an end to the pain and suffering endured by her family,
particularly her parents Roger and Joy."
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers
on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.
EXCLUSIVE: CRUCIAL new evidence has led detectives interstate in
the marathon hunt to bring Elisabeth Membrey's killer to
Almost 15 years to the day she disappeared, police believe
they have made a breakthrough that could solve one of Victoria's
most frustrating murder mysteries.
Homicide investigators have travelled to Karratha in Western
Australia to interview several people who may hold new evidence in
The Herald Sun believes a suspect in the case has
divulged vital information to people about the night Ms Membrey went
A caller who contacted police has given investigators hope of
finally laying charges over the murder, despite never finding Ms
Ms Membrey's father, Roger Membrey, last night said he and his
wife Joy were hopeful there would soon be an end to their long wait
to find out what happened to their daughter.
"After 15 years we are emotionally weary. We think this has
the promise of being a good lead," he said.
"Joy and I are waiting with expectation that there might be a
possible ending to the case.
"It's very tough not being able to locate her body and Joy and
I feel we haven't had any closure. It's an emotional burden.
"We loved her so much and we feel we haven't done the right
thing by her yet. We haven't been able to give her a funeral or the
dignity of a burial and it weighs on us quite a lot."
Her killer is believed to be a man she knew who knocked on
her door that night. Blood was found in the hallway of the unit and
her body was taken in her own car to a remote location, believed to
be somewhere in the Kinglake or Silvan areas.
A $1 million reward was offered in 2006 for information that
led to a conviction.
Homicide squad Inspector Bernie Edwards said it would remain a
live case until Ms Membrey's killers were caught.
"Whilst the police efforts in Western Australia are a major
avenue of inquiry, we will continue to investigate the disappearance
of Elisabeth Membrey until we bring those responsible to justice,"
"The family have been waiting for answers for more than a
decade, and detectives have continued to work solidly throughout
"We will remain dedicated to this case until we get the result
that the Membrey family and Victoria Police want."
The investigation has led police to make inquiries across
Australia and even internationally.
Police flew to Western Australia last year to interview a man
about the murder mystery.
It is believed that person of interest is suspected of being a
man witnesses saw arguing with Ms Membrey outside her unit hours
before her death. A man of similar description, also seen with Ms
Membrey at the Ringwood Aquatic Centre the day before she vanished,
is a key to the probe.
A suspect police have been investigating for almost two years
was a person of interest at the beginning of their investigation.
He has been known to move around Australia, particularly in
mining towns, and has spoken of Ms Membrey's disappearance.
A MAN has appeared in court over the 15-year-old murder of
Elisabeth Membrey who went missing from her suburban Melbourne
flat in 1994.
After a breakthrough in the case, homicide detectives last
night arrested and charged 43-year-old Shane Andrew Bond, of Don
Valley in the city's outer east, with Membrey's murder.
He appeared at a brief filing hearing in the Melbourne
Magistrates' Court this morning.
The charge sheet states that, "the accused at Ringwood on or
about 6 December 1994 did murder Elisabeth Membrey."
Membrey, a 22-year-old aspiring journalist, was last seen
leaving the Manhattan Hotel in Ringwood where she worked, at 11.45pm
on December 6, 1994.
Speaking outside of court Membrey's emotional parents Roger
and Joy, said the journey to today's court appearance had been a
lengthy and difficult one.
"It's been a long long terrible crawl, 15 years and five
months, it's just been so traumatic," Mrs Membrey said.
"The hardest part as a mother is not knowing."
Mr Bond's lawyer, Paul James, said outside court that his
client would vigorously defend the charges.
"He denies any involvement whatsoever with Elisabeth Membrey
and he has maintained that all along," Mr James said.
He said his client was interviewed by detectives well over a
year ago in Kalgoorlie.
Mr Bond is expected to make an application for bail in the
THE parents of a missing Melbourne woman say the committing to
trial of someone over their daughter's murder is a "milestone"
in their 17-year quest for answers about her disappearance.
Shane Andrew Bond, 44, formerly of Don Valley, east of
Melbourne, denies killing Elisabeth Membrey, who was last seen
leaving the Manhattan Hotel in Ringwood on December 6, 1994.
The then 22-year-old's body has never been found.
Today, after a two-week committal hearing, Bond was ordered to
stand trial for her murder.
Bond, who denies ever knowing Ms Membrey, has pleaded not
Outside court, Ms Membrey's parents Roger and Joy Membrey
expressed relief that the committal proceeding was over.
"It is a milestone, I guess, for us and it has been pretty
difficult over the last two weeks at the committal," Roger Membrey
"We're pleased with the progress that has been made and it has
been made only because of a great lot of hard work that has been
done by so many people.
"After 17 years, we are very, very fatigued emotionally. But
our desire and our will to keep going is as strong as ever and we
will just do that for as long as we have to."
After being committed to trial, Bond unsuccessfully applied
for bail for a third time. Two previous applications have been
His barrister, George Georgiou, argued the case against Bond
was circumstantial and weak.
But magistrate Ann Collins said Bond had not demonstrated the
exceptional circumstances required for him to be released on bail
and refused the application.
Bond is due to face the Victorian Supreme Court for a
directions hearing on April 18.
THE dark dried bloodstain on the hallway carpet was the
It was visible for all to see, despite the killer’s desperate
attempts to clean up. The carpet had been mopped and the hallway walls
had been wiped clean.
But not clean enough. Because despite the killer’s best efforts,
traces of blood remained low on the walls.
For the parents of 22-year-old Elisabeth Membrey it was the first
sign she had fallen victim to something terrible.
At first Joy and Roger Membrey hoped their daughter had injured
herself and gone to hospital. They’d gone to her Ringwood apartment in
Melbourne’s east with Elisabeth’s boyfriend because she’d failed to
answer her phone.
But when they got there, her doona was missing.
Elisabeth never made it home. Police later theorised her killer
wrapped her bloodied body in the doona and carried her out of the
They found a partly finished letter in her room intended for a
friend in the United Kingdom, adding to the theory she was disturbed
while writing it on the night of December 6, 1994.
That night she was supposed to be staying at her boyfriend’s but
was asked to work late at the nearby Manhattan Hotel instead. She
finished her shift about 11.45pm and drove her red Mazda home.
Ms Membrey, a popular arts graduate who had aspirations to be a
television reporter, was alone in the apartment because her flatmate was
Her father Roger Membrey said of the blood smears: “We were
pleased to see that everything was neat and tidy . . . so it all looked
very normal, but there was one exception to that, of course.”
Police are in no doubt that Elisabeth is dead. But in the 21 years
since she went missing, her body has not been found and no one has been
convicted over her death.
The case quickly became one of Victoria’s most enduring mysteries
which resulted in the arrest of a patron of the hotel she worked in —
however a Supreme Court jury found the person not guilty after a high
profile trial in 2012.
The evidence against Shane Bond was circumstantial and he was
acquitted after the jury deliberated for seven days.
As with all cold cases police have promised not to give up until
the killer is found and there is still a million-dollar reward for
anyone with information that leads to a conviction.
While the case may be “cold” in police terms it is very much alive
for internet sleuths. The case has proved a popular topic on Reddit with
internet sleuths pouring over details of the case.
And one believes he has found the resting place of Ms Membrey.
Writing under the pseudonym of Tom Box, he has identified a
specific uninhabited property, in the Woori Yallock Basin, that is less
than 60km from Ringwood — the suburb where Ms Membrey lived and worked —
with a red soil track that leads directly to a secluded dam.
Mr Box believed Ms Membrey was likely to be on the property. The
presence of the red soil was important because it was similar to dirt
found on the wheels of Ms Membrey’s car.
Forensic tests after she disappeared established the dust and soil
found in the wheel trims and doors came when the car was driven on a
dirt road at speeds between 60km/h and 70km/h for at least four
As Ms Membrey didn’t drive her car off bitumen police determined
it must have been the killer. Additional tests showed the soil was
consistent with the Kinglake and Silvan areas – leaving detectives to
conclude the body was left less than 100 kilometres from the unit.
However ‘Mr Box’ believed the distinctive dirt found on the wheels
could easily have come from the Woori Yallock basin.
Through local knowledge and amateur detective work, Mr Box found a
red soil track that led directly to a secluded dam.
“The property at that time had no residence but appeared to have
some agricultural activity going on there, so presumably no one around
at night,” he told news.com.au
Last year Mr and Mrs Membrey told the
ABC the pain of
losing their daughter continued despite the time that has passed.
“We’re left up in the air. We’ve got no body, we don’t know why,
how, or where. So the anxiety is extreme all the time, the not knowing,”
her mother said.
They were both determined to get justice for their “beloved,
lovely” daughter one day and vowed never to give up.
“Not ever, until we’re 95 or whatever. Never,” Mrs Membrey said.
Her husband added: “No, you can’t, it’s a hole in your heart you
can’t just paper over. It’s our beloved daughter.”
Their pride in her was still evident even after two decades..
“We never lose sight of the fact she really was a lovely daughter.
“She was an absolute joy to have as a daughter. Those 22 years are
very precious to us,” the
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the death of Elisabeth Membrey
had been extensively investigated.
“Unsolved homicides always remain open and the current
investigators are best placed to make decisions on what they believe is
the right course of action to be taken for an investigation at that
If anyone has information which they believe can assist police
in locating Elisabeth’s remains we urge them to contact Crime Stoppers
on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
Elisabeth Membrey's family calls for criminal justice reform