Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

JUST like with Michaela Go­dau, Ma­jor Crime de­tec­tives have lit­tle doubt Mar­i­lyn Qual­mann has been mur­dered.

Al­though the two crimes oc­curred al­most seven years apart and are not linked, their cir­cum­stances are eerily sim­i­lar.

Mar­i­lyn, 14, dis­ap­peared from her River­land home on Sun­day, Septem­ber 21, 1975. She was last seen by her sis­ter about 9am that day and po­lice were ad­vised by her mother the next day that her daugh­ter had run away from home.

De­tec­tive Brevet Sergeant Tanya Mason, the Ma­jor Crime case of­fi­cer, said po­lice now be­lieved she had been mur­dered and her body dis­posed of. “She took noth­ing with her and there have been no con­firmed sight­ings,’’ she said.

Mar­i­lyn, who had learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, at­tended Glos­sop spe­cial school and of­ten stayed in the Bir­ralee Hos­tel at Berri. On week­ends she would re­turn to the fam­ily home at Moorook with her mother, step­fa­ther, an older sis­ter and younger step­sis­ter.

Mar­i­lyn had a his­tory of run­ning away from home and would later al­ways be lo­cated at a neigh­bour’s house. On this oc­ca­sion she sim­ply van­ished.

While River­land po­lice ini­tially con­ducted miss­ing per­son’s in­quiries, af­ter sev­eral weeks the file was passed to ma­jor crime when it be­came ap­par­ent Mar­i­lyn had not run away.

Po­lice divers con­ducted searches along a 5km sec­tion of the River Mur­ray and ex­ten­sive land searches were also con­ducted around her home. In­ves­ti­ga­tions had re­vealed al­le­ga­tions of abuse. Mar­i­lyn’s step­fa­ther – who died in 2004 – was ques­tioned af­ter Mar­i­lyn’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

“When ques­tioned, he ad­mit­ted to phys­i­cally dis­ci­plin­ing her, but in his view it was law­ful chas­tise­ment,’’ Det-Brevet Sgt Mason said.

“She had been seen pre­vi­ously with sig­nif­i­cant bruis­ing and there was never any proper ex­pla­na­tion given for that.

“There is every like­li­hood the se­cret of what hap­pened to Mar­i­lyn has been taken to his grave,” she said.

A re­ward of $1 mil­lion is avail­able for any­one who pro­vides in­for­ma­tion that helps solve the case or as­sists in lo­cat­ing Mar­i­lyn’s re­mains.

Mar­i­lyn Qual­mann

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