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NSW ELAINE JOHNSON: Missing from Cronulla, Sydney, NSW - 1 Feb 1980 - Age 17

Discussion in 'Australia: Missing & Unidentified' started by Kimster, May 2, 2015.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    WHEN Sutherland Shire teenagers Kerry Joel and Elaine Johnson went missing more than 33 years ago, Malcolm Fraser was Australia's prime minister and Azaria Chamberlain hadn't even been born.

    It may seem like a long time ago, but for Miss Joel's mother, Judy Rose, the scars of losing her only daughter have not healed.

    "I don't usually talk about it because it brings back too much pain," she said.

    "Every time I see someone dug up in the bush on the news, I wonder if it's Kerry.

    "The only way to cope is to put it out of your mind."



    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2018
  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Elaine reminds me of a young Toni Collette.

    Her poor family.. I hope they one day get some closure.
    Mel70 and Sunburst like this.
  3. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

  4. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

  5. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    I think so too! I love her! She plays ALOT of different Characters. Geez. 1980. Long time. And so little information. Any way a Parent deals with the disappearance of their Child, They can't be blamed! It's their OWN way to try to keep their SANITY! I believe "Noreen Gosh" was pushed beyond that point. And by NO FAULT OF HER OWN!!!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  6. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Exclusive: Coroner's handwritten note baffles family decades after NSW teens vanished

    A handwritten note with crossed out sentences remains one of the biggest mysteries Helen Cooper has faced in the search for her missing sister.

    Ms Cooper was just 12 when her blue-eyed, blonde haired older sister, Elaine Johnson, vanished from southern Sydney one day in early 1980.

    Elaine is one of four siblings who grew up living a “good family life” in the beachside suburbs of Cronulla and Kurnell after relocating to Australia from the UK as Ten Pound Poms.

    The beloved carefree hippie child, who rode bikes, skateboards and wore flower pants, was the kind of big sister who of an evening, after their parents had gone to bed, would wake up her younger sibling to sit up together and watch Monty Python on TV.

    The last known sighting of the then 16-year-old was at a caravan park not far from the Johnson’s family home in the Sutherland Shire.

    Elaine had been rooming with neighbourhood friend, 17-year-old Kerry Joel, at Woronora caravan park.

    The teens left their homes over friction - Elaine from her father after an argument about a party and Kerry from her mother after she smashed her car.

    Yet, on or around 1 February, 1980, both Elaine and Kerry disappeared never to be heard from again. In the almost 40 years since that time, the Johnsons, their friends and even police continue to grapple with how the pair could just vanish.

    In the past few years alone, Ms Cooper has lobbied to have her sister added to the digital missing persons’ database

    First missing poster after 38 years

    Elaine was only placed on a missing persons poster for the first time and age progression photo completed last year - 38 years after her disappearance.

    “There’s nobody that we feel we can talk to about the case,” Ms Cooper told nine.com.au.

    She said when her father first reported Elaine missing police didn’t take him seriously, treating her as a runaway. By the time police started investigating Elaine’s case the trail had gone cold.

    In 2014 Ms Cooper and her husband met with a detective who reopened the case. She said the detective got back in touch in 2015, informing them two detectives were now on the case.

    “They started looking into (the case) and said they would interview friends and then it (the case) went to coroners,” Ms Cooper said.

    After all the hard work to get the case to the coroners, it feels like nothing is now getting done, as the case is just sitting there. She also incredibly claims that it was only in 2015 police realised they were looking for two missing girls.

    “They know they’re getting benched and they don’t have the staff due to insufficient funding and staff to handle the cold cases,” she said.

    “Police said they’d interview all of the friends and go through their statements and they’d bring back (people to interview) and no-one got re-interviewed due to being moved to unsolved homicides.”

    In August 2016, the New South Wales Coroners Court held an inquest into Elaine and Kerry’s disappearance and suspected deaths. In a single sentence, Magistrate Mary Jerram ruled the pair were likely “deceased”. She referred the cases to the Unsolved Homicide Squad.

    The lost file

    The scant details in the coroner’s findings stands out as unusual, given the police’s assurances to Elaine's family that individuals would be interviewed, though it might be explained by police stating at Coroner’s inquest that Elaine’s file was lost.

    “Magistrate Mary Jarram asked was it put to Microfiche? Police replied no it does not exist,” Ms Cooper said.

    What is perhaps more incredible is that another inquest into the teens’ disappearance was held in 2007. However, this inquest was allegedly held behind closed doors.

    “They (the coroner) pronounced them deceased as 1979 and I refused to let them go with that. You don’t have any (evidence) to come up with that finding. I refused to get the death certificate,” she said.

    “That’s the biggest question mark over our head - why did they do that… one bit of paper hand written from the coroner.”

    These days Ms Cooper and her family continue to follow any and every possible lead into Elaine’s whereabouts. They are hoping to raise enough funds to hire a private investigator to work through the case.

    MORE: https://www.9news.com.au/national/e...lia-news/0c9e57fd-6bc2-4dc3-a837-6a8ccb563f3d



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