TALES of missing persons are the stuff of nightmares. The
The exhausting mystery. The questions that remain unanswered.
Two missing men have captured the imaginations of South Australians in
recent weeks - Ballarat-bound father Jason Richards, who disappeared in the
SA desert after June 21, and Edward Camilleri, who was last seen by his
family in April.
There were 7789 people reported missing in 2009-10 - most of them
rebellious teenagers and dementia patients wandering off. In missing persons
cases, 90 per cent are solved.
But Carol Redford understands what it's like for families of the other
10 per cent - the people who are never found.
Her sister Christine went missing in 1998.
No sign of her has been found.
Ms Redford said while it was possible to move on, the memory never
faded. "You have days where it's unusual and you have other days where you
think, 'that's life'," Ms Redford said.
"And you get over it and life is normal and then something triggers
it," she said, wiping away tears.
"It would be nice to finish it. It never finishes. I'd rather find a
body, I don't want to know how she died and the why, you'd never know."
Ms Redford said while she and Christine were not close, she could
understand how the Camilleri and Richards families were feeling.
"I think it's probably really hard because they are really close
families," she said.
"Husbands, wives, I think that would be really devastating and when
you've got babies involved that would be gut-wrenching. They don't know
they're not going to see them again so it's a hope. You'll just hope that
you see them. And it is a hope."
Ms Redford no longer has the same feeling.
"I must say, after 13 years, it's not a hope."
The circumstances of Christine's disappearance remain a mystery.
An alternative healer and bereavement counsellor, Christine, who lived
at Kensington Gardens, also volunteered at the Salvation Army. She was last
heard from when she spoke to a friend on the phone on June 30, 1998.
She was reported missing on July 5. Her purse and passport were in her
Sandford St unit. She did not drive. Her bank accounts weren't accessed.
Ms Redford said Christine's life had changed dramatically in early
1998. "She used to keep daily journals and something happened in January,
the journals stopped," she said. "But there were people in her life so
somebody must know what happened.
"She dropped a group of friends, found a new group, found a new
church. It wasn't unusual for her to get a new group of friends because she
moved through phases."
While Ms Redford holds no more hope, she said the police never give
up. "The file is ridiculously thick with all the statements that they've
taken, all the pieces of paper and I just said, 'stop'.
"'It's too long. If she was coming back, she'd be back. If she is
alive, she doesn't want to come back, she doesn't want to be found, just
stop', and they said, 'We don't. We can't. It's open'."
Ms Redford no longer has a plea for Christine.
"I've done that on two TV shows, I find that doesn't work," she said.
But she has a message for the people who know what happened to her
"If you can turn the rock over for new information, if you can give us
an answer, just give it. Somebody knows. Do it. Get some guts, do it."
Anyone with information should contact BankSA Crime Stoppers on 1800
333 000 or www.sa.crimestoppers
.com.au. Callers can remain anonymous.