Chantelle McDOUGALL, Simon KADWELL & daughter LEELA

                                                                and Antonio POPIC

Above - Chantelle and Leela

Below left - Antonio Popic           Below right - Simon Kadwill

Missing family mystery baffles police

April 02, 2008  - The Australian

POLICE in Western Australia are baffled by the mysterious disappearance of a family of three and their friend, who told family last July that they were going for a holiday to Brazil.

The missing person's unit has been investigating the case for several months but has so far drawn a complete blank, and is now appealing to the public for help.

Chantelle McDougall, 27, originally from Victoria, her English partner Simon Kadwell, 45, and their six-year-old daughter Leela had been living in a house 10km out of Nannup, in WA's southwest.

They lived in the town for about 18 months after moving down from Perth, while a friend, Antonio Popic, 40, was living in a caravan in the backyard.

Acting Sergeant Fiona Caporn said today Ms McDougall told her mother Cathy in July they were going away on holidays to Brazil.

They called their real estate agent to say they were leaving and he could have their furniture, packed up their belongings and on July 13 travelled to Busselton where they sold their car.
It was the last time they were seen.

"There's nothing to say where they are, their location and whereabouts are unknown,'' Sgt Caporn said.

She said the family largely kept to themselves, but there was no indication of foul play.

Police said the bank accounts of the three adults were untouched, and Centrelink, Medicare and immigration checks had revealed nothing.

 Ms McDougall and her daughter were only reported missing in October when her parents called police, while Mr Popic's brother reported him missing in November.

"Chantelle's parents didn't report them missing for a while because they were under the belief they had gone on a holiday, but all our information at this stage states they are still in Australia,'' Sgt Caporn said.

Police say they have not yet identified Mr Kadwell's next of kin.

Family heartbroken over missing family


2nd April 2008, 11:15 WST     KAREN HODGE - The West

The father of a Nannup woman and her daughter missing for nine months with a flatmate has spoken of the family’s heartbreak at not knowing what happened to them.

Chantelle McDougall, 27, her daughter Leela, 6, and Antonio Popic, 40, have not been seen since July.

Their belongings have not been touched and the home they rented, 10km from the South West town, has been abandoned.

Officers who inspected the home found no sign of a struggle.

Ms McDougall and Mr Popic are understood to have not touched Centrelink payments or bank accounts.

No one has heard from the trio, who are understood to have told friends they were going on an overseas holiday.

The mother and daughter had been living with two males at the time, including Mr Popic.

Chantelle’s father Jim McDougall of Wodonga, NSW, told ABC Radio this morning that the family was heartbroken and had struggled to understand what happened to the trio.

“It’s wearing the family down,” Mr McDougall said.

Mr McDougall, who had only met Mr Popic once, said the family knew nothing other than that the trio had made plans to go on a holiday.

However, he said the police had told them that there was no evidence they even left the country.

“When they didn’t get back to us we got suspicious and were at a dead end,” he told ABC Radio.

He said it had crossed their minds that the trio may have chosen to disappear but said they did not really have any clues.

His daughter had often kept in touch, he said.

“She always contacted us all her life.”

“We are terribly worried… we want to know if they are safe and well.”

Mr McDougall and his wife Cathy said they had tried to see their daughter and granddaughter once a year but the distance between Perth and Wodonga made visits difficult.

He described his daughter as a normal outgoing person who loved to teach swimming.

His granddaughter was one of three grandchildren and was special to the family.

The mother and daughter were reported missing in October last year. Mr Popic was reported missing by his brother.

Police and family members have been unable to locate the trio and hold grave fears for their safety.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Fears for family of three who disappeared without trace


2nd April 2008, 6:00 WST

GIOVANNI TORRE - The West

Police will launch a campaign for public help in solving the bizarre disappearance of a WA family, who vanished without a trace from their Nannup home nine months ago.
  
Detectives said yesterday that they had no idea what had happened to Antonio Popic, 40, his partner Chantelle McDougall, 27, and her six-year-old daughter Leela have not been seen since July. The house they rented, 10km from the South-West town, was abandoned and the family’s belongings were apparently untouched.
  
When officers inspected their home they found no sign of a struggle. In a sinister revelation, police said the family’s bank accounts had not been used since they went missing. And the unemployed couple had not accessed Centrelink payments.
  
Sen. Const. Fiona Caporn, from the Missing Persons Unit, said police had no clue what had happened to the family. Friends and family had been unable to provide even a rumour about their fate and nobody has been contacted by the missing trio since July.
  
“We have gone through all avenues of investigation and hope the public, through the media, can assist,” Sen. Const. Caporn said.
  
The police investigation has been hobbled by the late notice that the family had disappeared. The alert was not raised until October, months after they were last seen, when Ms McDougall’s parents filed a missing persons report after not hearing from the couple. Mr Popic’s brother filed another in November.
  
To further complicate the investigation, a forensic examination of the Nannup house has been compromised because the owner of the house had cleaned and re-rented the property after assuming her tenants had run off.
  
The mystery is even murkier given the family sold their car not long before vanishing.
  
In a last-ditch effort to unearth new information about what happened to the family, police are appealing to the public for information about sightings or contact with the trio since July.
  
Sen. Const. Caporn said anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Missing Persons - 929.com

In October last year a missing persons report was made for 27 year old Chantelle MCDOUGALL and her six year old daughter Leela by Chantelle's parents Jim and Cathy MCDOUGALL.

Chantelle and Leela were residing in Nannup with two other males, one who has also been reported missing by his brother - 40 year old Antonio POPIC.

The house was abandoned with all of their belongings left behind and untouched and there has been no word or sighting of any of them since July last year.

Family and friends of Chantelle, Leela and Antonio hold concerns for their safety.

Extensive enquiries by police and family members have failed to locate any trace of the missing persons. Do you have any information which will assist in their whereabouts.

If you know these people please call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Doomsday sect is linked to missing Nannup residents


3rd April 2008, 7:00 WST - The West - SUELLEN JERRARD and BEATRICE THOMAS

A doomsday sect, which urges its followers to prepare for the world’s imminent end and rebirth, has been linked to the disappearance of four people from the South-West town of Nannup nearly nine months ago.

Simon Kadwill, 45, his partner Chantelle McDougall, 27, their sixyear-old daughter Leela McDougall and friend Antonio Popic, 40, have not been seen or heard from, nor have they used their bank accounts, since leaving their rented Nannup home in July.

East Perth real estate agent Joe Popic said yesterday he feared that the disappearance of his brother and his friends was linked to their involvement in a sect based on a book called Servers of the Divine Plan. **

**http://www.thenewcall.org/book_sdp.htm

Joe Popic said Mr Kadwill had introduced his brother to the book, which calls on “servers” from Earth and elsewhere to awaken and take up their positions before the world’s imminent end and rebirth.

Mr Kadwill had also tried unsuccessfully to recruit his brother as a “server”, Joe Popic said.

Since his brother’s disappearance, he had tried to find out more about the book and its followers, with limited success. He urged anyone with information to come forward, believing they could hold a key to the mystery. He said of the missing group: “They are the type of people that it wouldn’t be out of the question if they’re living on a commune somewhere and don’t want to be found. But it’s very concerning and we just want to know if they’re safe and well.

“There is nothing wrong with being alternative but I think they’re involved on a deeper level.

“You sort of hear of all these cult things and Waco, Texas, and people trying to top themselves and all this sort of stuff, but you would hope they wouldn’t do that.”

Missing persons unit Acting Sgt Fiona Caporn said police had been unable to find any group in WA that followed the Servers of the Divine Plan or any link between the book and the disappearance of the group.

There was also nothing to suggest foul play.

Acting Sgt Caporn said police understood the missing people had kept to themselves in Nannup but she was reluctant to further discuss their lifestyle or whether they were part of a sect.

Police initially had said they were searching only for Antonio Popic, Ms McDougall and Leela, who had been reported missing by their families in October.

Yesterday they said they were also looking for Mr Kadwill, who is originally from England but has been in Australia for about seven years. He has not officially been reported missing and police have been unable to find any next of kin.

Ms McDougall’s father Jim, who lives near Wodonga in Victoria, said police had told him he could not discuss Mr Kadwill or whether his daughter had been involved in a sect or alternative teachings.

He said Chantelle had told his wife Cathy when they last spoke by telephone on July 14 that she and Leela were going on an extended holiday to South America

He said she sounded happy and excited and there had been no reason to believe otherwise until she failed to contact them again, which was out of character.

Police had told him there were no records of his daughter, granddaughter or friends leaving Australia.

The group left their house on a rural property about 10km south of Nannup after paying up what they owed and telling the real estate agent to keep their furniture. Mr Popic had been living in a caravan at the rear of the house.

The group took only their personal belongings.

The last known sighting of the group was when Chantelle sold her car at a car yard in Busselton about the same time.

Nannup residents who spoke to The West Australian yesterday said that although they had noticed the group’s absence in recent months, they had thought nothing of it, given the somewhat itinerant nature of the South-West town, even though the group had lived there for several years.

“As far as the people around town knowing their whereabouts and when and how they left, no one has any idea,” local police officer Sen. Const. Dean Bristow said.

Max Arvidson, who employed Ms McDougall at his fish and chip shop until a few months before her disappearance, said there had been talk in the community about the group’s alternative beliefs and that they might move because of Mr Kadwill’s concerns about high-tension electricity wires over their home.

Mr Arvidson described Ms McDougall as a diligent worker and lovely person and mother. He said Mr Kadwill always gave the impression that he was an alternative thinker.

“He behaved perhaps like you would expect (in the) 1960s, not the orange people but that sort of thing, very alternative, sometimes totally nonsensical,” he said.

A neighbour described the group as quiet people who kept to themselves. They had given some hints that they could be ready to move on by raising concerns about the new electricity lines and also giving away their chickens.

Ms McDougall was the only one in steady employment, working both at the fish and chip shop and teaching swimming to local children. She also home-schooled Leela.

Joe Popic said his brother had always led a nomadic life, which was why it had taken him so long to raise the alarm with police. He said it was out of character for him to be out of touch for so long.

“My brother is a very nice human being and he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Joe Popic said.

“He’s a gentle sort of person and unfortunately, I believe, he just got involved with the wrong sort of people.”

Acting Sgt Caporn defended the delay between the group being reported missing in October and police going public for help this week.

“We’ve gone through our avenues of inquiry and gone through there, so this is the next stage of trying to appeal to the public,” she said.

 

Vanished without a trace: A South West family disappears

Posted April 2, 2008 21:46:00 - ABC

Police have stepped up their investigation into the disappearance of a family of three and their male lodger who vanished from the South West town of Nannup nine months ago.

The case has baffled police who have issued an international missing persons alert and even investigated claims the four have joined a religious sect.

Chantelle McDougall, Simon Kadwill and their six-year-old daughter Leela were renting a house last year, 10 kilometres out of nannup.

Lodger and friend, Antonio Popic, lived in a caravan on the property.

Last July all four vanished without a trace.

Ms McDougall's father Jim McDougall reported her missing in October after being told she planned a holiday to Brazil with her daughter.

"After a few week I was a bit suspicious we didn't hear so I actually contacted overseas where they were supposed to be and there was no record so I got really worried and contacted missing persons.

Mr Popic's brother raised the alarm a month later.

Mr Kadwill moved to Western Australia from Britain seven years ago and has no known next of kin.

Police have revealed bank accounts and mobile telephones have not been accessed, and passports have not been used for overseas travel.

Acting Sergeant Fiona Caporn says the missing people settled their lease agreement but seemed to have left in a hurry.

"As far as we know a couple of days before they went missing they sold the car that Chantelle owned, they left their property in their house at Nannup and they haven't been seen since," she said.

Ms McDougall worked part time in a fish and chip shop and taught children swimming lessons in her neighbour's pool.

Police have made inquiries nationally and abroad and even followed up reports the group may have joined a religious sect.

Anyone with information about the four is asked to contact the Missing Persons Unit.

 

 

'Sect book' linked to missing family

By Nicolas Perpitch | April 03, 2008 - The Australian

A BOOK predicting the end of the world will be pulled from publication after it was linked to the disappearance of four people in Western Australia.

But publisher Brett Mitchell, the owner of Esoteric Publishing which he says published Servers of the Divine Plan, denied the book is the basis of a doomsday sect and expressed shock at the disappearances.

Chantelle McDougall, 27, from Victoria, her English partner Simon Kadwill, 45, their six-year-old daughter Leela and housemate Antonio Popic, 40, have been missing since July.

Mr Popic's brother, Joe, today said he believed they may be linked to a sect based on the writings of the book, which prophesises the birth of a new world following the end of a 75,000-year cycle.

The book promotes itself as a guide calling on "servers" to prepare themselves as the globe heads for an imminent "Great Transition".

In a statement on his website today, Mr Mitchell said the book would be immediately pulled from publication.

"I am shocked to hear the news of the disappearance of Chantelle McDougall and her family," Mr Mitchell said.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to the McDougall family and I really do hope that everyone is found soon.

"I am also dismayed to see the book Servers of the Divine Plan linked to a `doomsday cult'.

"This publishing house was founded to help people find their own way to truth, not to support cults and other fanaticism. I am removing the book from publication immediately."

Mr Mitchell was being sought for further comment.

Ms McDougall and her family were living in WA's south-western town of Nannup before telling Ms McDougall's family in Victoria they were going on a holiday to Brazil.

They have not been seen since.

Police yesterday appealed for public help in solving the mystery of their disappearance.

The three adults' bank accounts have not been touched since they vanished and immigration checks showed they had not left the country.

Joe Popic said Mr Kadwill introduced his brother and the others to the book.

"They are the type of people that it wouldn't be out of the question if they're living on a commune somewhere and don't want to be found," Mr Popic told The West Australian newspaper.

"But it's very concerning and we just want to know if they're safe and well."

Police said they had received 30 telephone calls on the disappearances since yesterday's appeal and were currently wading through the information for credible leads.

Police have appealed for public help in solving the mystery of their disappearance, but said they did not believe there had been foul play.

 

Callers provide leads on missing family mystery


3rd April 2008, 11:30 WST - The West

Police are sifting through more than 30 calls to Crime Stoppers over the puzzling disappearance of four people from the South-West town of Nannup.

WA police spokesman Sergeant Graham Clifford told thewest.com.au that there were no firm leads at this stage but police had received the calls from across the country to the crime reporting line.

Sgt Clifford said that they now had to go through all that information to see if there was anything relevant to the inquiry.

The West Australian revealed yesterday that police were searching for Simon Kadwill, 45, his partner Chantelle McDougall, 27, their daughter Leela, 6, and a flatmate Antonio Popic, 40, who lived in a caravan in the backyard, have not been seen or heard from since July.

Mr Kadwill is the only one not to have been officially reported missing.

None of their bank accounts have been touched since the group left their rented Nannup home nine months ago.

As reported in The West Australian today, a doomsday sect, which urges its followers to prepare for the world’s imminent end and rebirth, has been linked to the group’s disappearance.

East Perth real estate agent Joe Popic said yesterday he feared that the disappearance of his brother and his friends was linked to their involvement in a sect based on a book called Servers of the Divine Plan.

Mr Popic said Mr Kadwill had introduced his brother to the book, which calls on “servers” from Earth and elsewhere to awaken and take up their positions before the world’s imminent end and rebirth.

Mr Kadwill had also tried unsuccessfully to recruit his brother as a “server”, Joe Popic said.

Since his brother’s disappearance, he had tried to find out more about the book and its followers, with limited success.

He said of the missing group: “They are the type of people that it wouldn’t be out of the question if they’re living on a commune somewhere and don’t want to be found. But it’s very concerning and we just want to know if they’re safe and well.

“There is nothing wrong with being alternative but I think they’re involved on a deeper level.

“You sort of hear of all these cult things and Waco, Texas, and people trying to top themselves and all this sort of stuff, but you would hope they wouldn’t do that.”

Missing persons unit Acting Sgt Fiona Caporn said police had been unable to find any group in WA that followed the Servers of the Divine Plan or any link between the book and the disappearance of the group.

There was also nothing to suggest foul play.

Acting Sgt Caporn said police understood the missing people had kept to themselves in Nannup but she was reluctant to further discuss their lifestyle or whether they were part of a sect.

Ms McDougall’s father Jim, who lives near Wodonga in Victoria, said Chantelle had told his wife Cathy when they last spoke by telephone on July 14 that she and Leela were going on an extended holiday to South America.

He said she sounded happy and excited and there had been no reason to believe otherwise until she failed to contact them again, which was out of character.

Police had told him there were no records of his daughter, granddaughter or friends leaving Australia.

The group left their house on a rural property about 10km south of Nannup after paying up what they owed and telling the real estate agent to keep their furniture. The group took only their personal belongings.

The last known sighting of the group was when Chantelle sold her car at a car yard in Busselton about the same time.

Nannup residents who spoke to The West Australian yesterday said that although they had noticed the group’s absence in recent months, they had thought nothing of it, given the somewhat itinerant nature of the South-West town, even though the group had lived there for several years.

A neighbour described the group as quiet people who kept to themselves. They had given some hints that they could be ready to move on by raising concerns about the new electricity lines and also giving away their chickens.

Ms McDougall was the only one in steady employment, working both at the fish and chip shop and teaching swimming to local children. She also home-schooled Leela.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

KAREN HODGE, SUELLEN JERRARD, BEATRICE THOMAS

 

Missing Briton may be conman

Alana Buckley-Carr | April 04, 2008 - The Australian

A BRITISH citizen who has gone missing with his Australian partner, their six-year-old daughter and a 40-year-old housemate may be more of a "conman than a cult leader", according to a West Australian cult expert.

Simon Kadwill, 45, his partner Chantelle McDougall, 27, their daughter Leela and housemate Antonio Popic have not been seen for nine months since they took their belongings, sold their car and left their rented rural house in the tiny bush town of Nannup, 280km southwest of Perth.

While police remained tight-lipped on their missing person investigation, religious group expert Adrian van Leen said Mr Kadwill, aka Kadwell or Kaddy, had written the New Age book Servers of the Divine Plan. Police confirmed the man had several aliases.

The book, which prophesises the birth of a new world of higher consciousness following the end of a 75,000-year cycle, has sold 4000 copies since its 1999 release. But yesterday its publisher, Esoteric Publishing, a California-based company, withdrew the title from sale. "This publishing house was founded to help people find their own way to truth, not to support cults and other fanaticism. I am removing the book from publication immediately," a statement from publisher Brett Mitchell said on the company's website yesterday.

Mr Mitchell would not confirm who wrote the book, saying he had "promised not to", but he said Esoteric Publishing had paid royalties to the author. It was not known how recently payments were made.

Mr van Leen said Mr Kadwill had in the past promoted himself as a "higher being", who needed very little sleep.

He said Mr Kadwill was not involved in a "doomsday cult" that would commit group suicide. "It doesn't have the hallmarks of a Waco (cult)," Mr van Leen said.

Nannup locals said the group's members kept to themselves and were hardly seen around the town. Ms McDougall worked at the local fish and chip shop. Both men received Centrelink payments while Leela was home-schooled.

Perth detectives said earlier this week that very little was known about Mr Kadwill, except for the fact he had been in Australia for seven years. They had checked immigration, Medicare and Centrelink records, but had found no trace of the group or whether they had attempted to leave the country.

Ms McDougall's Victorian parents reported her and Leela missing last October after discovering they had not gone on an overseas holiday as Ms McDougall had told them.

None of the group's bank accounts have been touched since July 13 last year.

 

Missing persons search: Cult group contacts police

Posted April 3, 2008 18:00:00
Updated April 3, 2008 21:20:00  - ABC

A cult awareness group has contacted police about their missing persons investigation into the disappearance of four people from the south-west town of Nannup.

Chantelle McDougall, her partner Simon Kadwill and their daughter Leela have not been seen since July last year.

Forty-year-old Antonio Popic, who lived in a caravan at the back of the property, is also missing.

Concerned Christian Ministries director Adrian Van Leen says his group has discovered that Mr Kadwill wrote a New Age book called Servers of the Divine Plan and conducted lessons.

He has told the ABC the book does not promote dangerous beliefs.

"I don't think the book is saying anything different to a lot of new agey type publications and material, in itself it doesn't predict a serious end time scenerio with people committing mass murder suicide," he said.

The disappearance of the four people has baffled police who are calling on anyone with any information to contact the Missing Persons Unit.

 

Police ‘open minded’ on missing Nannup four


4th April 2008, 17:30 WST - The West
 

WA police say they’re keeping an open mind over links to a sect or commune in the disappearance of four people from a small town in the state’s south-west more than nine months ago.

One of the four, Englishman Simon Kadwill, 45, was revealed yesterday as the author of a new age book, Servers of the Divine Plan, predicting the world was about to come to the end of a 75,000-year cycle and enter a phase of higher consciousness.

Brett Mitchell, owner of Esoteric Publishing, which published the book, confirmed Mr Kadwill was the previously anonymous author.

Mr Mitchell rejected speculation the text was linked to a doomsday cult but immediately withdrew it from publication.

Mr Kadwill, Chantelle McDougall, 27, from Victoria and the pair’s six-year-old daughter Leela, along with their housemate Antonio Popic, 40, have been missing since July last year.

They had been living in a house about 10km out of Nannup when Ms McDougall told her mother they were going on a holiday to Brazil.

They sold their car, packed their belongings and left their furniture with their real estate agent.

The four have not been seen since, their bank accounts remain untouched, and there is no sign they ever actually left Australia.

Police appealed for public help in finding the four earlier this week, all of whom had been reported missing except for Mr Kadwill.

Police said they had not been able to track down his next of kin and knew little else about him other than he had been in Australia for seven years.

Servers of the Divine Plan promotes itself as a guide for “servers” to prepare themselves as the globe heads towards an imminent “Great Transition” from darkness into light.

It has prompted speculation he may have led the other three to live in a commune or in isolation somewhere in the forrest’s of the Nannup region.

Police today said they had received more than 30 telephone calls about the disappearances, but there was still nothing to indicate foul play.

“Police continue to keep an open mind in this investigation,” a statement said.

“Speculation about the involvement of religious sect/s is simply being treated as speculation - however, police will always keep an open mind.

“At this stage, police have not been able to confirm any involvement of the missing persons in any sect or commune.”

AAP

Cult link in Nannup bones find

SANDY POWELL, Manjimup-Bridgetown Times March 7, 2012, 6:00 am
 

Human remains discovered in Nannup last week could be those of four cult members who went missing nearly five years ago.

Police are anxiously waiting on results of forensic tests on bones and clothing found in a paddock on February 28 while they investigate potential links to missing persons cases.

Det-Sen. Sgt Jon Munday said the cult members, who mysteriously disappeared in 2007, were a clear lead because of where the remains were found.

‘‘Obviously we’re looking for any link with any long term missing persons,’’ Sgt Munday said.

Chantelle McDougall, 28, when she went missing, her daughter Leela, 8, partner Gary Feldman, 46, and friend Tony Popic, 42, were last seen in Busselton.

The four were linked to a mysterious doomsday cult and investigations into their whereabouts were inconclusive.

Sgt Munday said the case was progressing slowly as forensic evidence was still being processed.

‘‘We’re hoping to have some answers by the end of the week as to the sex and age of the person, which will help in identification,’’ he said.

‘‘Actual identification might take a few weeks, as there is so little to go on. However, if pathology is able to match any missing person’s dental records that will significantly speed up the process.’’

The skeletal remains were uncovered by horses grazing in a Grange Road paddock and later discovered by the animals’ owner.

Forensics officer senior constable Tony Quest said the bones, which included a skull, were not previously buried but may have been submerged due to the swampy nature of the paddock, and this had hampered investigations.

Snr const Quest said this made it hard to determine how long the remains had been there, though the property owners told police the paddock had been cleared about 18 months ago.

Clothing found with the remains was also examined by forensics at the scene and sent to Perth for further testing, though Sgt. Munday said they were unlikely to provide answers.

‘‘We were hoping to find other items with the clothing, accessories, such as a watch or jewellery which would be ideal, but there was nothing of the sort,’’ he said.