|Last seen:||Inala November 1992|
|Year of Birth:||1976|
|Last seen:||Inala November 1992|
|Year of Birth:||1978|
Circumstances: Sister and brother Melony Merrille SUTTON aged 14 years and Chad Everett SUTTON, aged 16 years, were last seen at 8.35am on 23 November 1992 at 7 Jabiru St Inala by their mother Maree when they left home to walk to school. It was later learnt they intended to hitchhike to Perth. However they didn't have any money or clothing with them. They have not been sighted again.
Police are calling on members of the public to help find missing Inala siblings Chad and Melony Sutton.
As part of National Missing Persons Week, police have reignited their drive to find the pair, who went missing in 1992 from 7 Jabiru St, Inala.
Police said their mother Maree, last saw her children Melony, 14, and Chad, 16, when they left home to walk to Inala State High school. It was later learnt they intended to hitchhike to Perth and have not been sighted again.
Queensland Police Missing Persons Unit Acting Senior Sergeant Lisa Massingham described the case as “unusual”.
She said every year 35,000 people were reported missing in Australia. While 95 per cent of people are found within a short time there were about 1600 long-term missing persons, or those missing for more than six months.
She said there was a possibility the Sutton children could be dead.
Missing Persons Week runs until Saturday.
Sen-Sgt Massingham said this year’s theme “follow your instincts” aimed to dispel views and misconceptions within the community about missing persons, such as the idea there was a “right” time to conduct a search and that people “chose” to go missing.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is calling on those who have lost contact with the people closest to them to connect with its Family Tracing Service.
“Some people have a strong belief that the missing party might want to cease contact with them but that is not always the case,” special search team leader of the tracing service Maria Merle said.
Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
ALMOST 25 years after Brisbane siblings Chad and Melony Sutton disappeared on their way to school, a former student has revealed that she believes the pair were murdered by someone they knew.
Chad, 16, and Melony, 14, vanished on November 23, 1992, after they had dropped their younger brother George off at school.
Police have long suspected the siblings were murdered and have confirmed the teenagers wanted to hitchhike back to Western Australia to be with their dad.
But now, former Inala High School student Clare Snow has revealed Chad and Melony were driven to breaking point after months of bashings at the hands of three violent bullies.
The beatings even occurred outside the Suttons’ house on Jabiru St, in full view of others.
The attacks grew worse when Chad retaliated, and Ms Snow said the pair disappeared days after Chad lashed out at one of his tormentors with a baseball bat.
“(The bullies) would bash them whenever they felt like it. They would go to their house tormenting the family,” Ms Snow said.
“It was always the Sutton kids against (the bullies’) families.”
“The main (story) was (the Suttons) were taken to the bush that used to be at the back of Inala before the bush was knocked down to build houses.”
Ground searches across Brisbane were conducted in the months following Chad and Melony’s disappearance, but no trace of them has ever been found.
One of Melony’s classmates, Ros Jorda, recalled the children as being “different”.
She said she wasn’t surprised to hear that they had been the target of bullies.
When asked if she believed three high school bullies were capable of murder, Ms Snow told The Sunday Mail: “Oh yeah, for sure. They were very nasty people.”
She said one of the bullies once hit her over the head with a plank of wood.
She also claimed the boy’s mother had previously threatened the life of another student.
“My thoughts are that either it was (the bullies) or their families. If it wasn’t them, I wouldn’t know who it would have been,” Ms Snow said.
Ms Snow’s information is being assessed by Queensland Police Service’s Missing Persons Unit and Homicide Unit.
Chad was 16 and Melony 14 when they disappeared from their Inala home on November 23, 1992. They left with no money and only a few possessions stuffed into a schoolbag.
They had plans to hitchhike all the way to Perth to be with their father, a feat Chad had attempted once before, when he had only made it as far as Toowoomba.
To add to the mystery, a friend called police after the pair disappeared to say he’d received phone calls from Chad from both Sydney and Adelaide — but not a single person ever came forward to say they’d picked up the hitchhiking siblings.
Missing Persons Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Damien Powell said various serial killers, including Milat and Queensland’s Lenny Fraser, had been looked at.
But he said police had no idea what had happened to the children.
“There’s been some suggestion over the years of Ivan Milat,” he said.
“He was active over that time. Of course he’s not admitting to anything.
“There’s some suggestion he was a trophy taker of some of his victims because some of their possessions were located inside his house.”
Sen-Sgt Powell said no known possessions of the Sutton siblings had been located, but the possibility could not be ruled out.
He said the teens, while hitchhiking south, could have potentially passed through the Belanglo State Forest where Milat’s victims were found.
Milat has never admitted to killing anyone — despite having been convicted in 1996 of seven backpacker murders — and police are convinced he is likely responsible for many more disappearances.
Hundreds of trophy items were found in Milat’s home, some of which were identified as belonging to his known victims.
Other trophies he had gifted to relatives.
Among the few clues in the baffling Sutton case are phone calls Chad possibly made to a friend who was living in Perth at the time.
The friend, named Chris, called police in April 1993 to say he had received a series of calls from Chad — as many as eight or nine — between late November and late December.
It is possible Chad attempted to call after that, but Chris told police he moved house in late December.
Chris said that in one of the calls, Chad told him they were in Sydney. In another, about three weeks later, he had said they were in Adelaide.
Sen-Sgt Powell said that while police had no reason to doubt the information, it was “very unusual” that nobody ever came forward to say they had picked up the two hitchhikers.
The phone calls were not able to be verified through phone records.
“The time gap between the phone calls would indicate they were hitchhiking with a number of people or travelled a number of different ways,” he said.
“I would have thought somebody would have come forward shortly after 1992… (that) there would be a concerned mother or father who would say why are these young kids hitchhiking by themselves — and give them a lift to help them out and then (call police).”
Sen-Sgt Powell said that without any verification of the siblings’ whereabouts at any time, detectives had been left with the whole of Australia as a search area.
He said there was also a possibility the siblings had been left on the side of the road in a remote area and died of dehydration, their bodies never found.
Grandmother Jean Turich said Chad and Melony’s mother had died without learning the fate of her children.
But she said her daughter never gave up hope that they’d turn up alive.
“(She was always) saying they’ll turn up somewhere, sometime,” she said.
“It’s only a natural a mother would think that. She was terribly upset, crying.”
Ms Turich said she believed it was likely her grandchildren had been abducted.
“It’s either foul play they’ve met with or else someone’s got them… into one of those cults,” she said.
“I just wish someone who knows something would come forward.”
Sen-Sgt Powell said anyone with information should call police.
“We’re ever hopeful that somebody knows something from 1992 and is looking to come forward because it’s jogged their memory, or they’ve had a change of heart about something that they know,” he said.
“Obviously we’d look to hear from anyone who can help us out.”
Information to Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000