Australasia

$1m reward offered in missing girl cold case

Police have offered AUS$1m for information about the abduction and suspected murder of a British toddler who vanished from an Australian beach 50 years ago.

Cheryl Grimmer, aged three, was kidnapped from a changing area after spending a morning at the seaside with her mother and three brothers in 1970, near the city of Wollongong in New South Wales (NSW).

The body of the child, originally from Bristol, has never been discovered.

On the 50th anniversary of her disappearance, NSW authorities upped the reward on the case to $1m (€620,000) for information leading to arrest and conviction. A man who cannot be named for legal reasons, aged 16 at the time, was due to face a murder trial last year. But after key evidence was ruled inadmissible, the charges against him were dropped.

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A judge ruled the man’s interview with police from April 1971 could not be used in court because there had been no parent, adult or lawyer accompanying him, Australian media reported. A coroner in 2011 found Cheryl had died – but her cause and manner of death remained undetermined, NSW Police said.

Homicide squad commander Daniel Doherty said: “We are appealing to those people who know something but have not previously been inclined to assist police.”

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