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Vic SALLY CHEONG: Missing from Oakleigh South, Vic - 2 April 2008 - Age 31

Discussion in 'Australia: Missing & Unidentified' started by MarlyWings, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2016
  2. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Sister of missing woman Sally Cheong just wishes she could finally say 'I love you'

    August 1 2016

    Every now and then, late at night, Helen Cheong sees the face of her sister, Sally, in her sleep. The details are still clear, even though they haven't seen each other since last playing tennis eight years ago.

    The dreams are always the same. Sally has returned, ending her family's heartache at not knowing what happened to her. But then she says she has to go again.

    "Then I wake up and realise she's not there," says Helen. "Every birthday we have a cake to remember her; she's not forgotten."

    Sally went missing in 2008. She left the family home in Oakleigh South on the morning of April 2, a Wednesday, and has not been seen again since. She was 22 at the time

    Police are not sure what happened to Sally. There doesn't appear to have been a struggle and it seems as though Sally left of her own accord. She took her phone, car keys, and a security blanket that she often carried.

    Victoria Police Acting Sergeant Simon Hunt, who is investigating the disappearance, says Sally told her mother that she was going to visit a male friend in Queensland shortly before she went missing.

    Investigators have been unable to find out who the man is and is encouraging anyone who might know to come forward and help solve the mystery.

    "Someone must know something," Acting Sergeant Hunt says. "She can't have disappeared into thin air."

    Sally is the oldest of five children in a tight-knit and sometimes strict Chinese family. Helen says her sister was seen as the responsible one who helped raise the rest of her siblings.

    Before going missing Sally had graduated from Monash University and was helping with the family business.

    She was seen as the kind of person who would not just up and leave without telling someone.

    "I grew up my whole life just expecting her to be there," says Helen.

    "Never once have I really said to her, 'I love you'. I just took my sister for granted. You don't realise what you have until it's gone."

    Sometimes, the worst thought of all crosses Helen's mind: that Sally has been harmed.

    "When I think about that, it hurts me the most. The thought of her being in pain would crush me even more," she says.

    "I don't think about it a lot because I think she's still out there."

    Sally is one of at least 35,000 Australians who go missing every year. Nearly all of those people are found within one week. Less than 1 per cent remain missing for more than three months.

    This year, as part of National Missing Persons Week, the Australian Federal Police is highlighting the "frayed edges" that are left behind in family, friends and the wider community when someone disappears.

    Rebecca Cotz from the AFP National Missing Persons Coordination Centre stresses the importance of staying connected with loved ones.

    She says that myths surrounding missing persons – that police will only investigate a disappearance after 24 hours – sometimes result in the best opportunity to find someone being wasted.

    "Don't hesitate, go to police. The worst outcome is they find the person and there is a little bit of embarrassment. So be it," she says.

    "By waiting, they may fall into a situation and they can't get themselves out of it."

    For the Cheong family, there is only heartbreak. When Helen put photos of Sally up at her wedding, her father was in tears.

    If her sister was to walk through the front door again, Helen knows exactly what her first words would be: "I love you."

    Only three small words. But they mean everything.

    Anyone who has information relating to Sally's disappearance or whereabouts is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

    Lily likes this.
  3. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Lily likes this.
  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    'My Sister Has Been Missing For Nine Years'

    Sally was always very family-oriented. She was the big sister of five children, and took a lot of responsibility, so I could rely on her to do most things.

    Translating was her role, organising events was her role. I’d be a bit scared of her, but she’s an older sister, so that’s normal.

    The night before Sally disappeared, we had played tennis. In terms of the interaction, I don’t remember anything being out of the ordinary. That was the last time I saw her.

    I woke up the next day and I had all of these calls while I was at work, saying that she hadn’t turned up for work at my parent’s place. After I got the phone calls, honestly a lot of it was a blur. It was just so hectic and so emotional that you forget the details.

    People started panicking later in the day when no one could reach Sally. Her phone was still active, so we were constantly ringing her phone.

    Towards night-time, we started rummaging through her room, we contacted the police, but they had a 24-hour policy for missing people so we went back the next morning.

    We checked her Facebook, logged in to her computer and tried to contact all her friends. We also drove around the neighbourhood hoping that she was just out or around the streets, hoping we could see through the houses. When I look back, we were just really desperate.

    My sister Wendy had seen a silhouette outside her room the night that Sally disappeared. The police looked at Sally’s bank account and her phone, which hadn’t been used, so they weren’t able to track her location from that.

    Sally also took her favourite blanket that she had since she was young, and it was really tattered. That blanket would suggest she did run away, unless someone knew about it. I don’t see why she would bring it unless she knew that she was going to go permanently.

    But she had left her passport at home, so the suggestion was that if she did run away, she had somehow managed to get a fake passport from someone. They do believe that someone else was involved, or someone out there had done something, because of the silhouette Wendy saw.

    Nine years on, Sally is still missing. I do hope she’s out there and that she’s just lost her way a bit and hopefully will come back. I don’t want to say that I don’t have any hope, but it just feels more distant, the chances are lower now. Obviously, the fear is that she has met with foul play along the way.

    I think investigators have exhausted a lot of their options, but I’m sure they’re still monitoring bank accounts and all that. The Victoria Missing Persons Unit have been really good in getting Sally’s face out there and creating more awareness.

    MORE - https://www.marieclaire.com.au/missing-persons-week-sally-cheong
    Dobrev, Lily and Paradise like this.
  5. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    prayers for Sally's family. 2008 doesn't seem so long ago to me but it's 11 years. the years are passing by so fast.
    Kimster likes this.
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I know what you mean! It doesn't seem that long ago until you add it up! :eek:
    Dobrev likes this.

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