Susan Marie GOODWIN
Name: Susan Marie GOODWIN
Age when missing: 40 years
Hair: Collar length brown hair
Tattoo of a purple rose on left hip, hysterectomy scar on lower torso.
MISSING Port Lincoln woman Susan Goodwin may have been murdered by someone who was very close to her, police have revealed.
The revelation — which narrows the list of potential suspects to less than a handful — is a significant development in the long-running cold case.
Police have also revealed it is “more than likely’’ that more than one person was involved in either the murder of Ms Goodwin, 39, or the subsequent disposal of her body near the town.
The officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, yesterday said numerous scenarios had been discounted.
“We don’t believe it was an accidental overdose and we don’t believe she ran away. We are firm in our belief that she was murdered,’’ he said.
“We are now taking the investigation back to day one and investigating it as if the crime occurred today.
“In a case like this, history shows us it’s not uncommon for the offender to be someone related to the victim, friends or closely associated.
“We think it’s most likely she was murdered by somebody that she knew well.’’
Det-Supt Bray would not comment on a likely motive but indicated it had formed part of the renewed investigation.
Police received 20 calls to Crime Stoppers and to Task Force Lincoln detectives last week after distributing posters and placing banners on police cars urging Port Lincoln residents with information about Ms Goodwin’s murder to come forward.
“All of those calls will result in further investigation,’’ Det-Supt Bray said.
“The investigators are now confident the killer still resides in Port Lincoln and believe Ms Goodwin’s body was disposed of within a 30km radius of the town.
“It’s also likely her murder was not planned but there was more than one person involved, most likely in disposing of her body.’’
Det-Supt Bray appealed to those on the periphery of Ms Goodwin’s murder to contact police and said a $200,000 reward was available for information about her death or recovery of her remains.
Ms Goodwin disappeared on July 19, 2002, and was reported missing after she failed to pick up her partner, Michele Peterson, from work at 4.15pm that day.
Ms Peterson started walking to their Moonta Crescent home but, at 4.27pm, accepted a lift from a work colleague.
When she arrived home, she found fresh meat ready to be cooked for their evening meal.
Ms Goodwin had only her clothes and about $140 with her when she disappeared.
Police later revealed they believed she was with other people when she died and may have been buried in a shallow grave. She was a social drug user.
In 2003, Ms Peterson pleaded for public help to solve the mystery.
“I think the possibility of her being alive is pretty slim. I think she’s probably dead but it would just be good to know,” Ms Peterson said at the time.
“There has got to be somebody out there who must know what has happened to her. It would be good to be able to put it to rest so I can get on with life.’’
Ms Peterson yesterday declined to comment on the renewed investigation when contacted by the Sunday Mail.
■ Anyone with information about the disappearance and murder of Ms Goodwin should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
DON Goodwin has one dying wish — to find out what happened to his daughter, suspected murder victim Susan Goodwin.
Police today released a personal plea from the gravely ill father.
Ms Goodwin was last seen in Port Lincoln in 2002, and police investigating her disappearance believe she has been murdered.
Recorded in his hospital room in Victoria last week, Don Goodwin is urging anyone with information to speak up now.
In a tragic twist, Ms Goodwin had survived a car crash 15 years before she went missing but she lost two sisters and a brother.
Also penning a letter of appeal ‘To Whom it May Concern’, he wrote that six months ago he had a heart attack, and just three months later he found out he has cancer.
“Thirty years ago Suzy was in a tragic car accident … she survived but lost two sisters and only brother,” he wrote.
“Fifteen years ago we lost Suzy, believed now murdered in Port Lincoln.
“I am appealing to anyone (who) knows anything … I am desperate for answers as her remaining sister and mother need closure and some peace as our lives have been destroyed by these tragedies.”
As part of the police inquiry detectives last week travelled to country Victoria to interview friends and family who live in the Wonthaggi area.
During that trip her father made the video appeal for anyone with information to come forward to police.
“It’s been terrible,” he said of life since her disappearance. “It’s been on my mind all the time — day and night — you never get over it and it just wears you down something terrible,” Mr Goodwin says in the video.
“It’s getting worse as I’m getting older and crooker.”
Releasing the video today, police from Major Crime echoed his appeal for information.
“We are making progress and we know that even the smallest piece of information could make all the difference in this case,” Detective Superintendent Bray, officer in charge of the SAPOL Major Crime Investigation Branch, said.
A reward of up to $200,000 is available for information that leads to the recovery of Ms Goodwin’s remains or the conviction of those responsible for her disappearance and suspected murder.
BOTH parents of missing woman Susan Goodwin have died without learning the fate of their daughter who disappeared in Port Lincoln in 2002.
Despite the tragic outcome, police believe they are making strong progress in the case, ruling out seven persons of interest and narrowing their focus on individuals.
Ms Goodwin’s father Don made a personal plea from his hospital room in May, knowing he didn’t have long to live and begged for closure — not only for himself, but for his wife and remaining daughter.
Only weeks later he succumbed to cancer.
Ms Goodwin’s mother Margaret died on September 1, no closer to knowing her daughter’s fate.
Ms Goodwin disappeared on July 19, 2002 from Port Lincoln and is presumed to have been murdered.
She had only the clothes on her back and about $140 when she disappeared, leaving behind fresh meat ready to be cooked for an evening meal in her Moonta Cres home, which she shared with her partner.
In the hour before her disappearance she was seen at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets looking “distraught” but police were only alerted once she failed to pick up her partner from work at 4.30pm that day.
In May police launched Task Force Lincoln to investigate Ms Goodwin’s disappearance from “day one”, using 12 Major Crime and Port Lincoln CIB detectives.
The task force revealed Ms Goodwin’s car was driven back to her house by someone else the day she disappeared.
Officer in Charge of Major Crime, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, said detectives from the task force would continue to have a strong presence in Port Lincoln.
“There has been excellent support from within the general community and criminal elements following the renewed publicity,” Superint Bray said.
“That includes 52 calls to Crime Stoppers — including some from people within prisons — the majority of which have been very useful.”
As a result of the information police have ruled out seven persons of interest in the inquiry.
“We are now satisfied that they individuals were not involved — and that is a very significant outcome as it has allowed us to narrow the focus of this investigation,” Superint Bray said.
Anyone with information on Ms Goodwin’s disappearance is asked to contact Crime Stoppers online or by calling 1800 333 000.