Renata and husband David.
Last seen: Linden Park, South Australia on 2 August 1989
Height: 160 cm
Hair: Black shoulder length hair
Distinguishing Features/Other: Has a mole on her right
At about 4:00 a.m. on 2 August 1989, Renata Wolanin told her husband she was going
for a walk, but she did not take her keys, purse or car and was only dressed
in night attire.
On or about 2/8/1989 Renata WOLANIN
disappeared from her Linden Park home, SA. The last possible sighting of her
was believed to be at a Mobil Service Station at corner Glen Osmond and Port
Rush Rd in the early hours of that date.
Rewards up to the amounts shown will be paid
by the Government of South Australia, at the discretion of the Commissioner of
Police, to anyone who provides information leading to the apprehension and
conviction of the person or people responsible for crimes posted.
The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995)
Friday 8 February 1991
ADELAIDE The South Australian Coroner has found that
an Adelaide social worker is presumed dead, almost 20 months after she
disappeared after leaving her home on an early-morning walk.
Coroner Kevin Ahem made the finding yesterday after receiving no
new evidence about the disappearance of Renata Wolan in, 41, from her
home in suburban Linden Park in the early hours of August 2, 1989, after
reportedly going for a walk.
She had not been seen since, despite an extensive police
investigation and Mr Ahem said yesterday that none of her tank accounts
had been touched since her disappearance. Mr Ahern said that while the
conditions surrounding her disappearance were extraordinary, he was
satisfied he could make the declaration on a lack of any further
ON a cold, rainy morning in August, 1989, Renata Wolanin left
her Linden Park home in her pyjamas.
She was never seen again.
Ms Wolanin, who was 40 at the time, left her Verdale Ave home barefoot
in the early hours of the morning, husband David Wehner told a coronial
inquest in 1991.
He said he believed his wife had ``gone for a walk'' after a fight
In 2005, Major Crime detective Sergeant Michael Standing said police
had no evidence to indicate Ms Wolanin was still alive.
A neighbour told the inquest she saw a car leave the couple's house
about 4am, but could not identify it.
Ms Wolanin was presumed dead by the Coroner, but there was not enough
evidence to find if her disappearance was due to murder, suicide, an
orchestrated effort or accidental death.
After his initial claim for his wife's entire estate was disputed by
her parents, Mr Wehner secured a $50,000 out-of-court settlement in 1992.
The family of the missing woman say they have believed for 18 years
they know who killed her and hid her body.
Her brother, Andrew Wolanin, said in 2005 he was positive his sister
But he - like the investigating detectives - does not have enough
evidence to prove his theory.
He said he believed there were people with information that might
still help police.
Family of Renata Wolanin say her husband’s death means he got away with her
THE family of the victim in one of South Australia’s most enduring murder
mysteries fear they will never know what happened to her following the death of
her husband — the prime suspect.
“Everything that was said about her leaving the house and going for a walk, not
taking anything, wasn’t like her at all.
“She was extremely close to my grandparents and my dad. There is just no way she
would just take off and not contact any of them.’’
Since Renata vanished, her family has been determined to solve the mystery.
Sadly, her father, Edward, died in 2002, aged 79, and her mother, Wanda, died in
2012, aged 92. Her brother, Andrew, who is Michelle’s father, passed away in
2010, aged 59.
“They were devastated. It upsets me there was never a resolution for them; no
closure before they died,’’ Michelle said.
Major Crime case officer Senior Constable Jason Edwards said Wehner had told
detectives he last saw his wife on the night of August 1, 1989 at their Verdale
Ave home, which was undergoing renovations.
“There was certainly some disagreement, some differing points of view about the
renovations and how they should proceed and how much money was being spent,’’ he
On August 1, 1989, Wehner was watching the Ashes Test from England on TV and
Renata went to bed with some work around 7.30-8pm.
He had told detectives that around 10.30pm they had a conversation about
curtains and other renovations.
“I don’t think it was left on very good terms,’’ Snr Const Edwards said. Wehner
said he continued to watch the cricket and then went to bed in the early hours
of the morning.
“He said when he woke the next morning Renata was not there,’’ Snr Const Edwards
Wehner said he woke up between 5am and 6am and, later that day when Renata had
not returned, began making some inquiries with her friends and neighbours, only
to be told no one had seen her.
Renata had only just started a new job and crucially, she did not arrive for
work on the morning of August 2.
Scheduled meetings for that day were not kept and she made no calls to work
colleagues. While Wehner made contact with police at Norwood about 3.30pm on
August 2, it was not until the next day he made a formal missing persons report.
Because of the circumstances, Wehner became a person of interest in the case. He
was extensively interviewed on several occasions, but did not change his version
Detectives have conducted extensive searches in the foothills close to Linden
Park and Waterfall Gully, as well as excavating sections of the backyard of the
couple’s home that she owned.
While the couple did not have a wide circle of joint close friends, detectives
were keen to speak with anyone who was close with either of them that they have
not so far had contact with. “There may be people who were not happy to talk to
us at the time who are willing to do so now,’’ Snr Const Edwards said.
Police confirmed Wehner, who in 1992 secured a $50,000 payout from Renata’s
estate, remained a person of interest until his death.
He stayed in Adelaide for a time after Renata vanished but then shifted to Perth
before spending time studying in the US. He was living in the Wagga Wagga region
in NSW before his death in Sydney in June.
Snr Const Edwards said he was keen to speak with any women who may have been
involved with Mr Wehner since the disappearance of his wife in 1989.
“It is highly likely he was involved with more than one woman while he was
living in Perth,’’ he said.
“Allegiances do change over time and now he is deceased they may feel
appropriate to speak to us about anything he may have confided in them.
“Recovering Renata’s remains so her family can obtain some closure is now
paramount for us.’’
A coronial inquest in 1990 heard evidence that Renata often had bruises on her
face and that Wehner was involved with another woman.
A $200,000 reward is available for information leading to the recovery of Renata
Wolanin’s body. Contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.
30-YEAR MILESTONE AND RENATA WOLANIN’S REMAINS STILL NOT FOUND
Posted on 02/08/2019
It’s now been 30 years since the disappearance and presumed
murder of Renata Wolanin and her loved ones are still no closer to knowing where
her body has been buried.
During the early hours of 2 August 1989, Renata Wolanin walked
out of her Verdale Road home at Linden Park almost two years after marrying
David Wehner, a former US Army military policeman.
The 41-year old has not been seen since. Her husband reportedly
told police that around 10.30pm they had a conversation about curtains and other
Wehner said he watched cricket, went to bed in the early hours of
the morning and woke between 5am and 6am the next morning to find that Renata
was not there.
Later that day, when Renata had not returned, Wehner began making
inquiries with friends and neighbours, only to be told no one had seen her.
Renata had only just started a new job and did not arrive for
work on the morning of August 2. She did not attend scheduled meetings that day
and she made no calls to work colleagues.
While Wehner made contact with police at Norwood about 3.30pm on
August 2, it was not until the next day he made a formal missing persons report.
Police have conducted extensive searches in the foothills close
to Linden Park and Waterfall Gully, as well as excavating sections of the
backyard of the couple’s home that she owned.
Wehner secured a $50,000 payout in 1992 from Renata’s estate, and
he remained a person of interest until his death a number of years later.
A coronial inquest in 1990 heard evidence that Renata often had
bruises on her face and that Wehner was involved with another woman.
A reward of up to $200,000 is on offer to anyone who provides
information leading to the recovery of her remains.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers
on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestopperssa.com.au