Tegan LANE

Missing girl Tegan dead: Coroner

February 15, 2006 - The Australian

THE New South Wales Coroner is "comfortably satisfied" that missing Sydney girl Tegan Lane is dead.

But Coroner John Abernethy said today there was not enough evidence to charge a known person with her homicide.

He delivered his findings today after an lengthy inquest into Tegan's suspected death. The girl has not been seen since she was discharged into the care of her mother, Keli Lane, on September 14, 1996, two days after her birth at Auburn Hospital.

Mr Abernethy told Westmead Coroner's Court he was "disturbed at the possibility that Tegan may have met with foul play", but added it was possible the child was still alive.

However, he made the formal finding that Tegan died about 1996.

"As to the place, manner and cause of her death, the evidence adduced does not enable me to say," Mr Abernethy said.

He recommended that the case be referred to the NSW Police Homicide Squad for review or further investigation.

Ms Lane, now 30, kept Tegan's birth and those of two other children secret from her family and friends.

The two other children were legally adopted out but when Tegan's birth was discovered by authorities in 1999 she initially denied the baby's existence then offered inconsistent versions of events.

In her latest account, she gave the newborn to Tegan's natural father, a man named Andrew Norris, with whom she had had an affair.

Mr Norris, his de facto girlfriend Mel, and his mother collected the newborn from Auburn Hospital, Ms Lane told police.

But nationwide searches have failed to find any trace of him or the child.

Mr Abernethy today said without the untruths and half truths Ms Lane had told police, adoption agencies and social workers, her version of what happened to Tegan was "possible, though unlikely".

"With those untruths ... I am completely unable to accept the final version given by Keli Lane," he said.

Mr Abernethy said he found it "inherently unlikely that a man with whom (Ms Lane) was having an affair, who already had a partner, who initially at least was incredibly angry on learning she was pregnant, nevertheless was happy to take the child".

"This is all the more unlikely because that man's cuckolded partner also agreed."

Earlier this week, Ms Lane exercised her legal right to silence when called to give evidence at the inquest.

While Mr Abernethy acknowledged her right not to incriminate herself, he said "the position is that without Keli Lane's evidence this court is unable to ... make a final meaningful assessment as to whether this inherently unlikely version of events may be true".

Detectives investigating disappearance of Tegan Lane dig under Gladesville house

2008-08-04 11:31:51

A large-scale operation has begun at a Sydney house as part of inquiries into the disappearance and suspected death of baby Tegan Lane.
Tegan disappeared soon after her mother, Keli, was discharged from Auburn Hospital about 2pm on 14 September 1996.
A coronial inquest into the circumstances of baby Tegan's disappearance concluded in early 2006. Former NSW Coroner John Abernethy ruled that Tegan was deceased and referred the case to the NSW Police Force's Homicide Squad for review and further investigation.
Strike Force Kullara was established by the Homicide Squad in October 2006 after the review of the case was completed.
The case is now one of more than 190 that are the subject of further investigation by the Unsolved Homicide Team.
Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Geoff Beresford, said today's operation began with the execution of a crime scene warrant shortly before 10am.
"The Gladesville property was the home of one of Keli Lane's former boyfriends and she is known to have attended this location briefly on the day she was discharged from hospital.

"As a result of further inquiries over almost two years, we have uncovered information which suggests Tegan's remains may be at this location," Detective Superintendent Beresford said.
The home is now occupied by a family who have been relocated by the NSW Police Force for the duration of the operation.
"Further investigation has been carried out by the detectives into the disappearance and suspected death of Tegan Lane.
"Our inquiries have led us to the house in Venus Street, Gladesville, where an operation has begun today to excavate under the home for possible remains.
"This work is expected to take up to a week and will also include a search of the entire property," Detective Superintendent Beresford said.
At least 20 people are involved in the operation, led by the Unsolved Homicide Team, with the assistance of officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Police Rescue, and Forensic Services Group (FSG).
Detective Superintendent Beresford said, "As part of our ongoing inquiries, we are appealing for help to identify people who might have seen or had contact with Keli Lane while she was in Auburn Hospital between 12 and 14 September 1996."
Detectives are also keen to hear from any members of the public who might have seen Keli Lane in the Auburn Hospital carpark on 14 September 1996.
Strike Force Kullara detectives can be contacted via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.  Information will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be provided anonymously.

Is the body of baby Tegan Lane under a house?

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

By Kara Lawrence

August 05, 2008 12:00am

IN Keli Lane's own words, she visited her former boyfriend's house in Gladesville 12 years ago after handing her baby over to its natural father - a man police have never been able to prove existed.

Now police believe those words may return to haunt her, with a dig under that same weatherboard house to find missing baby Tegan Lane's remains.

For the first time, a thorough excavation at the property has been launched in an effort to ascertain once and for all whether Tegan's remains are buried there.

The case of missing baby Tegan - who would be 11 if she was still alive today - has fascinated Sydney, with a painstaking national police search unable to find any record of the child.

In 2006, former State Coroner John Abernethy found Tegan was dead but stopped short of finding she had met with foul play.

Forensic anthropologist Dr Denise Donlon, accompanied by police and cadaver dogs, yesterday began sifting through the soil underneath the Venus St home , which neighbours say underwent extensive renovations from 2004.

When two-day-old Tegan was discharged from Auburn Hospital on September 14, 1996, Ms Lane's then-boyfriend and footballer Duncan Gillies owned and lived in the Venus St home, which has since changed ownership.

Cadaver dogs were used in a 2005 search, without success.

But a two-year review of the case led to police gaining new information which pointed to the location, Detective Superintendent Geoff Beresford said.

"It is known that Keli Lane frequented this house prior to the birth of Tegan and we believe she may have visited there shortly after leaving Auburn Hospital," he said.

Ms Lane told police during a previous interview she stopped by Mr Gillies' home that day.

She claimed to have handed the child over to her natural father, an Andrew Norris, who has never been found, before catching a cab to Gladesville.

Ms Lane also gave birth to two other children in secret in the 1990s and legally adopted them out. She kept a fourth child she bore with her husband.

Ms Lane could not be found at her parent's Fairlight home yesterday, with her former policeman father Robert ordering media from the property.

 Police operation at Gladesville concludes - Unsolved Homicide Team

2008-08-08 17:26:16

A five day police operation at a Gladesville house, conducted as part of ongoing inquiries into the suspected death of baby Tegan Lane, was finalised at 5pm today.
A number of items have been located during the operation which will be subjected to further forensic analysis to determine their relevance to the ongoing investigation.
Strike Force Kullara detectives are continuing to investigate the disappearance and suspected death of baby Tegan Lane and are renewing their appeal for information.
Since the operation began on Monday, detectives have received a number of calls from members of public with new information.  This information has provided detectives with additional lines of inquiry, which are being investigated.
Meanwhile detectives are renewing their appeal for information from the public about the disappearance of baby Tegan.
Detectives are also urging anyone who might have seen Keli Lane in the Auburn Hospital carpark on 14 September 1996 to contact police.
Strike Force Kullara detectives can be contacted via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be provided anonymously.

Bones found in hunt for Tegan

Dylan Welch - SMH
August 9, 2008

POLICE found small bones during their week-long search for the remains of newborn Tegan Lane, but are not sure if they are human.

Officers, a forensic archaeologist and cadaver dogs have been undertaking a forensic excavation of a cottage in Gladesville to find the remains of the baby who went missing 12 years ago - two days after her mother, Keli Lane, gave birth. Police said they found several items during the operation, which will be further analysed to "determine their relevance".

The Herald understands the items include bone fragments, although police will have to wait for tests to determine whether they were those of a small baby or an animal. On Monday police cordoned off the house on Venus Street, where Ms Lane's one-time boyfriend was living when Tegan disappeared. A forensic archaeologist, Dr Denise Donlon, and officers sifted through soil under the house.

Ms Lane, a former representative water polo player and teacher at Ravenswood School for Girls in Gordon, gave birth to Tegan on August 12, 1996.

Three years later it was discovered that, although the birth had been recorded, there was no sign of the infant.

At first Ms Lane denied Tegan's existence but later recanted. Police were unable to find the father, and now doubt his existence. It was eventually revealed that Ms Lane had given birth to three children between 1995 and 1999, all of whom were kept secret from her family and her boyfriend. The other two children were given up for adoption.

At a subsequent coronial inquiry a state coroner John Abernethy found Ms Lane's "litany of lies" had made it impossible to discover the truth. It was ruled that Tegan died in 1996.

Ex-officio indictment issued for alleged murder of baby in 1996 ó Unsolved Homicide Team

Thursday, 19 Nov 2009 10:25am

An ex-officio indictment has been issued in relation to the alleged murder of a baby girl in 1996.

Unsolved Homicide Squad detectives have been advised that the Department of Public Prosecutions has served the indictment for murder on a 34-year-old Northern Beaches woman.

The charges relate to the alleged murder of two-day-old girl who was last seen alive at Auburn Hospital on 14 September 1996.

The woman will appear at the Supreme Court on 4 December 2009.

Strike Force Kullara comprises detectives from the State Crime Commandís Unsolved Homicide Squad and was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

No proof Tegan Lane is dead, Keli Lane's defence tells trial

PROSECUTORS cannot prove that Keli Lane's missing child Tegan Lane is dead, the NSW Supreme Court has been told.

In his opening address to a jury today, Ms Lane's defence counsel Keith Chapple said the crown was relying on ``theories and speculation'' in attempting to prove its case.

Ms Lane has pleaded not guilty to murdering baby Tegan, who disappeared following her birth in September 1996.

Prosecutors have alleged that Ms Lane - who covered up five pregnancies over seven years - wanted to be ``permanently rid'' of Tegan so that she could pursue her dream to represent Australia at the Olympics in water polo.

But Mr Chapple said the crown could not establish a motive for Tegan's murder, or even whether the child was dead.

``Our case is that they can't prove how, when, where, or even why Keli Lane would murder her newborn child,'' Mr Chapple said. ``Further, they can't prove if the child is dead (or) the manner of her death.''

Earlier in court today, crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi withdrew a suggestion that Ms Lane may have disposed of Tegan's body at the Homebush Olympic site in Sydney two days after the baby's birth.

The crown has alleged Ms Lane disposed of Tegan's body in the three hours between leaving Auburn Hospital, in Sydney's west, where Tegan was born, and her arrival at her parents' house in Fairlight, where Ms Lane prepared to attend a wedding.

``There is no evidence at all as to what happened to Tegan during those three hours... it would not be appropriate for you to speculate about what may have happened during that time,'' Mr Tedeschi told the jury. ``I ought not to have speculated about the Olympic site because the Olympic site was never searched.''

The trial, before judge Anthony Whealy, continues.


Boyfriend 'unaware Lane was pregnant'

12:27 AEST Mon Aug 23 2010

The former boyfriend of water polo player Keli Lane did not know she was pregnant or that she gave birth during their relationship, a jury has been told.

The man said after their first date on April 29, 1994, he "became very attached to Keli very quickly".

Within six weeks he was already thinking of the "big M" - marriage - and he believed she felt the same way.

The former footballer was giving evidence at the NSW Supreme Court trial of Lane, 35, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering her second baby, two-day-old Tegan Lane, on September 14, 1996.

The jury has been told Lane kept that pregnancy and two others secret, and adopted out another two infants.

Under questioning from prosector Mark Tedeschi QC, the man said that during 1994 he did not become aware of Lane being pregnant or her being in her last trimester in early 1995.

He also said he had been unaware she had gone to a hospital to give birth on the night he, she and others were at a pub after she played a water polo final that day.

The man said they had a regular sex life, but he recalled they did change the way in which they had sex.

Instead of the missionary position with him on top, they used the "spooning" position where they were both on their sides, he said.

He could not recall who initiated this practice.

But he had a "vague recollection" of trying to put his arm around her waist but she stopped him, commenting she was "not proud" of weight she had put on.

Their relationship in 1995 had been "a normal, loving, open, honest relationship", he said.

The hearing is continuing before Justice Anthony Whealy.