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NSW BELINDA PEISLEY: Missing from Katoomba, NSW - 26 September 1998 - Age 19

Discussion in 'Australia: Missing & Unidentified' started by Akoya, May 14, 2016.

  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    True crime doco: Who Killed Belinda Peisley? premieres August 7 ABC TV

    In 1998, 19 year old mother of two Belinda Peisley went missing in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba. She has not contacted her children, her parents, her aunt or any of her friends since her disappearance. Inexplicably, police did not report her disappearance to the Coroner for eight years.

    As the inquest into Belinda’s disappearance finally gets underway in 2012, a striking cast of characters appear to give evidence, most linked to the drug culture prevalent in Katoomba. The long interval that has passed and the damage that drug addiction has caused present huge challenges. Much of the evidence has gone cold and the Coroner can have no certainty as to the veracity of the evidence he hears.

    Investigative documentary-maker Helen Barrow has followed the case for over seven years, taking her cameras into the homes and lives of Belinda’s family, neighbours, friends, witnesses and persons of interest, and into the courtroom each day of the inquest, to follow Belinda’s story.

    As the Coroner handed down his finding that Belinda died in or around Katoomba, of unknown cause, this compelling and shocking new documentary asks Who Killed Belinda Peisley? The 59-minute documentary is a grippy courtroom drama and investigation into the culture of a community who to this day harbour dark secrets about Belinda’s disappearance.

    The documentary’s release is timed to coincide with National Missing Persons Week (Aug 5-11).

    The six extra chapters released on ABC iview take the viewer deeper into the events through unique themed bonus episodes that raise important questions about a town, an inquest, the ripple effect on friends and family of an unsolved homicide; while also shining a spotlight on those who are missing presumed dead in our society.

    Fear & Memory: Time passing and drug use clearly impact on the memories of witnesses but just as clearly so does a sense of menace in the courtroom.

    Small Town Secrets: Hearsay and rumour obscures the truth at the inquest into the disappearance of Belinda Peisley and dark and isolated Katoomba keeps her secrets.

    Belle: She inherited money but mental health issues caused by absent father and bipolar mother saw the animal loving attractive teenager Belinda become a drug addict.

    The Ripple Effect: No body, no grieving, no funeral. Belinda Peisley’s family still suffers today. The Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit helps families process their pain.

    The Inquest: The inquest into Belinda’s disappearance focuses on three persons of interest that raise suspicions sufficient for the Coroner to refer the case to Unsolved Homicide Unit.

    Finding the Missing: Belinda Peisley is one of Australia’s 2600 missing long-term persons that the AFP forensic unit use age progressing techniques to try and find.
  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Belinda Peisley cold case: Police dig at Katoomba home in search of missing woman

    Police have begun excavating a home in the Blue Mountains in search of a woman who has not been seen for 20 years.

    Belinda Peisley was last seen in the Katoomba area, 110 kilometres west of Sydney, on September 26, 1998. At the time, local police and officers from the Homicide Squad launched extensive investigations and numerous ground searches into the whereabouts of the then-19-year-old.
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  3. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    'Items found' in police dig under Katoomba home of missing teen Belinda Peisley

    By Monday afternoon, a NSW Police spokeswoman was already able to confirm that "items of interest have been located".

    The nature of the items is unknown, as is the number that have been found so far.

    Ms Peisley's father Mark Wearne told a media conference outside the house that the wait for more evidence had been painful for the family, and he was "very grateful" for the "very heavy police presence" there.

    "I’d like to see every copper in NSW be here," Mr Wearne said.

    Ms Peisley, then 19, was last seen in the Katoomba area on September 26, 1998.

    In late 2012, investigators uncovered information suggesting she may have been the victim of foul play within the group of young people with whom she was spending time, many of them drug users.
    Kimster and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  4. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    A woman's dress and underwear found buried under a Blue Mountains home are being forensically examined as part of the investigation into the suspected murder of a young mother more than 20 years ago.

    Key points:
    • A three-day search of Ms Peisley's home began on Monday
    • The mother-of-two has not been seen since 1998
    • DNA testing will be carried out on the undergarments, which police say are consistent with Ms Peisley's size

    New South Wales Police found the clothing while digging underneath the former home of Belinda Peisley, who was last seen leaving Katoomba Hospital in September 1998.

    Leading up to her disappearance, Ms Peisley had inherited a significant amount of money from a distant relative, told family she was fearing for her life, and became involved in the local drug community.

    The clothing was found hidden deep in soil under the Trow Avenue property yesterday afternoon.

  5. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Ex-boyfriend of teenager who mysteriously vanished in the Blue Mountains was heard referring to her as a 'dead chick' in intercepted phone call

    The former boyfriend of a teenage girl who mysteriously vanished more than 20 years ago has been heard referring to her as a 'dead chick' in an unearthed recording.

    The ex-boyfriend of Belinda Peisley, who vanished from her home in Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains in 1998, is thought to be chatting to his mother in the intercepted phone call.

    A summary of the tapped phone was presented to an inquest into Ms Peisley's death in 2012 and 2013, and it's believed the conversation in question took place at some point in 2011.

    In the conversation, obtained by Unravel, the ex-boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is thought to be talking about his brother.

    'If he says something silly about the dead chick from Sydney he'll sink me,' he said.


    Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother's suspected homicide

    Police investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Belinda Peisley in 1998 mishandled the case and missed a critical window of opportunity to gather evidence into her suspected homicide, a former NSW Police officer and missing persons expert says.

    Karen Karakaya worked as a police officer in the NSW Coronial Support Unit and Missing Persons Unit in the late 1990s, during the time the young mother vanished from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

    Ms Karakaya told the ABC's true crime podcast investigating the disappearance of Ms Peisley, Unravel, it was "surprising" NSW police marked Ms Peisley's missing person's report as needing "no further investigation" just four days after it was officially made.

    "You would not expect to see 'no further investigation' on something that required investigation," Ms Karakaya told Unravel.

    "Those first few days and weeks are really critical to the investigation … It's a shame that this has happened."

    "The only time you would see that this early on is if [Ms Peisley] was located, and they were locating and writing off the report as no further actions required.

    "The police never treated this as a potential homicide," Mr Strickland said.

    "They treated this as a junkie who had gone missing, and so the police didn't do any proper forensic sampling, particularly of blood samples that were in Belinda's house, and they didn't interview a number of critical witnesses.

  6. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Key dates in the Belinda Peisley case

    September 1997

    Ms Peisley inherited about $150,000 from a relative.

    March 1998
    • Ms Peisley bought a house on Trow Avenue in Katoomba for about $118,000. She moved in with her three-year-old son, Cody. Her other son Billy lived with his father in Sydney.
    • Over the course of the next few months, the house became like a "drop-in centre" for the local drug community, according to evidence given at the coronial inquest into Ms Peisley's disappearance. Her heroin use also increased over this time.
    July 1998
    • Ms Peisley began a new relationship with Jason (whose name has been changed for legal reasons). By this time, she had spent almost the entirety of her inheritance.
    September 26 1998
    • This is the last day Ms Peisley is known to have been alive.
    • Ms Peisley attended a gathering in Katoomba where she was punched in the face by an acquaintance.
    • After the altercation, Ms Peisley allegedly got a taxi home with her boyfriend, Jason (whose name has been changed for legal reasons). He said they had an argument at her house and she smashed mirrors and windows.
    • Jason left to allegedly stay at a friend's house. This friend remembered Jason coming over that night, but not staying over.
    • Ms Peisley's neighbour called the police after hearing yelling and things smashing. Police arrived at Ms Peisley's house and found her intoxicated and alone. They took her to a hospital in Katoomba where she was triaged by a nurse. She had a cut on her right hand.
    • Ms Peisley left the hospital at about 8:50pm before a doctor saw her. This was the last reported sighting of her alive.
    • At about 10:30pm, Ms Peisley called her mother, Lesley, and asked her to bring her son, Cody, to her home at Trow Avenue (Cody was staying with Lesley). Lesley said it was too late and they would come in the morning.
    September 27 1998
    • Heidi Wailes said after she heard about her friend Ms Peisley being punched, she went to her house to see how she was, but no-one was home. Ms Wailes said she went inside the house to look for Ms Peisley and found her bag, with her wallet inside, squashed down the back of the couch. Ms Wailes did not make an official report to police about this until a considerable time later.
    • Jason (whose name has been changed for legal reasons) went to the NRL Grand Final in Sydney with several people.
    September 28 1998
    • Jason returned to Ms Peisley's house in the morning and found the front door open and windows smashed. He looked around for Ms Peisley but she wasn't there. He said he found her keycard and Medicare card, and he took them. He waited for her for a couple of hours, then left.
    • A Department of Community Services (DoCS) worker went to Ms Peisley's home to visit her. She saw windows were smashed, and there was no answer at the door.
    • A note on the police reporting system said Jason had informed police Ms Peisley had gone "berserk" at her house on September 26, smashing property and windows and throwing him out. The note also said Ms Peisley had not been seen at the house for two days and her current whereabouts were unknown.
    September 29 1998
    • The DoCS worker returned to Ms Peisley home to ascertain her whereabouts but nobody was there. The worker notified police about her concerns for Ms Peisley's welfare.
    • Police attend Ms Peisley's home and made a forced entry into the property. One officer who attended later remembered seeing what appeared to be blood in the bathroom.
    October 6 1998
    • Ms Peisley's mother officially reported her as missing to police. A photograph of Ms Peisley was collected by police and posted on an information board in Katoomba.
    October 10 1998
    • Police marked Ms Peisley's missing person's report with a clear-up status of "No further investigation".
    4 November 1998
    • Police were informed of activity in Ms Peisley's bank account and the possibility that Jason (whose name has been changed for legal reasons) was the person accessing it.
    16 November 1998
    • Police took their first formal statement from Jason regarding Ms Peisley's disappearance. Jason admitted to using her keycard to withdraw money from her account, but said she owed him money.
    8 October 2012
    • The inquest into the disappearance and suspected death of Ms Peisley began at the NSW State Coroner's Court in Katoomba. The inquest continued over 15 days in 2012 and 2013 at Katoomba Local Court, Parramatta Local Court and the NSW State Coroner's Court in Glebe.
    11 October 2013
    • NSW deputy state coroner Paul McMahon determined Ms Peisley died on or about 26 September 1998 in or around Katoomba, and her death was more likely than not the consequence of the action of a third party. The coroner was unable to make a finding as to the cause and manner of her death.
    • At the conclusion of the inquest, Mr McMahon found it was unlikely Jason (whose name has been changed for legal reasons) was involved in Ms Peisley's disappearance and suspected death. As to whether Ms Wailes had any direct knowledge of and/or involvement, the coroner said the evidence was inconclusive.
    3 December 2018
    • Police conducted a forensic dig at Ms Peisley's Katoomba home and found three pieces of clothing that are being tested for DNA.


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