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KIRSTY BENTLEY: Murdered in Ashburton, New Zealand - 31 Dec 1998

Discussion in 'Australia: Cold Cases' started by MarlyWings, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Murder of teenager Kirsty Bentley has haunted New Zealand for 17 years

    January 4, 2016 7:02pm


    FOR 17 years a murder case has haunted New Zealanders. A teenage girl murdered, her body discarded like trash in the bush, and a killer who has — so far — escaped unpunished.

    The Kirsty Bentley case has baffled investigators ever since the 15-year-old walked out of her home in Ashburton, on the east coast of the South Island, on New Year’s Eve 1998. She left that day with her dog Abby for a walk but was never seen alive again.

    Her brother John Bentley was at home that day, but said she never returned home. She had planned to have dinner that night with her boyfriend Graeme Offord, and was excited he was coming over.


    There was no sign of anything being wrong. Her mother Jill last year remembered the last time she’d seen her, earlier that day, as being happy and excited.

    When she didn’t return Jill and husband Sid went in search of her. They passed an area of riverbank where Abby was found tied to a pole the next day, suggesting the dog had been put there some time later than New Year’s Eve as the parents searched the neighbourhood frantically.

    Disturbingly, her underwear was found nearby, about 20m away.

    Unconfirmed sightings had Kirsty walking with two men near the river but that sighting was never confirmed. After a massive search it was two men checking their cannabis plot who made the grisly discovery 18 days after she vanished. Kirsty’s body was found in thick bush, 40km away, hidden under branches.

    Her family had feared the worst and now they had it. Kirsty had died violently, from a blow to the back of the head from a heavy object.

    MissyMoo, GarAndMo49 and Lily like this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    New DNA tests fail to find answers to Ashburton schoolgirl Kirsty Bentley's 1998 murder

    Detectives investigating the 20-year mystery of murdered Ashburton schoolgirl Kirsty Bentley are back to square one after fresh DNA tests failed to generate any new leads or suspects.

    The 1998 killing of 15-year-old Bentley remains one of New Zealand's most high-profile cold cases.

    The Herald revealed in December that Kirsty's underwear, along with the leash she used to walk her dog on the day she disappeared, were to be included in new tests carried out by scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand's Crown Research Institute, in Auckland.

    Detective Inspector Greg Murton, who took charge of the unsolved crime file case in 2014, had earlier told the Herald he hoped that advances in modern DNA testing techniques could help crack open the case.

    But the ESR results have not returned any positive leads or lines of inquiry, Murton confirmed to the Herald today.

    He says the case is still "open and being investigated" and still wants to hear from anyone with any fresh or new information.


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