The Courier-Mail

The disappeara­nce of Jayde Kendall

- KATE KYRIACOU

SHE got up, got dressed and went to school. She went to her classes. And at the end of the day, she walked through the school gates of Lockyer District State High School and vanished.

When her dad turned up at Gatton’s McDonald’s restaurant that night to pick her up after work, his girl wasn’t there. He was stunned. Jayde Kendall, the quiet, thoughtful 16- year- old, who came from a tight-knit fam- ily and loved art, hadn’t turned up for her shift that afternoon.

Her father, Bruce, called

police.

This wasn’t like his daughter at all.

She was reliable and had a small group of friends. Later, he made a heartwrenc­hing online plea.

“Please help me find my daughter,” the distraught father wrote.

Detectives now know that after school on Friday August 14 – eight days ago – Jayde got into a red hatchback with a man she knew. He says they drove around for a few hours. Then, he told police, he dropped her off safely.

Detectives are now piecing together Jayde’s steps that mysterious afternoon.

Jayde was to have started her shift at McDonald’s after school. She had received a call asking her to come in early but had said she couldn’t. When she didn’t arrive, it was assumed she had meant she couldn’t come in at all.

When her father arrived to pick her up and was told she had missed her shift, he called police. It wasn’t like Jayde.

A quiet, thoughtful girl whose mother died of cancer a few years ago, Jayde comes from a close-knit family.

That evening they spent a sleepless night waiting for her to come home.

The following day, Jayde’s distraught family began an online onslaught in the hope of finding her.

“Still nothing,” Bruce wrote on the Help Find Jayde Facebook page last Saturday.

“And it’s like 1 degree here tonight. I’m extremely worried and stressed.”

A second cold night passed without news.

“Please help me find my daughter,” Jayde’s father wrote again. “She’s 16 and was last seen in her Lockyer high school uniform (tracksuit) walking out of the gate on Highview St, Gatton on Friday afternoon 3.15pm. Please just share to everyone.”

Informatio­n on her disappeara­nce was shared far and wide. Shops and street poles in the area were plastered with posters of the pretty student.

And as the internet mileage grew, so did the rumours.

By now, police officers had been ap- proached by a witness who had seen Jayde get into a red car after leaving school.

Moments later, her phone was switched off. They began a frantic hunt to track down the driver.

Despite the level of publicity surroundin­g Jayde’s disappeara­nce, the driver did not come forward.

“The reality is that it’s sad for the family, it’s sad for the friends and it’s sad for the police that are investigat­ing it,” Detective Inspector Dave Isherwood said.

“She’s so young and she’s a decent girl.”

At a press conference early this week, Insp Isherwood (pictured below) issued a firm warning to anyone speculatin­g or spreading rumours online.

“It’s not helpful to the family who read it and it’s certainly not helpful to the police who are doing the investigat­ion because most of it is, to put it mildly, absolute garbage,” he said.

“I can’t put it in any easier terms.”

Jayde liked to post comments online as well but hers were different to the social networking norm.

In one, she empathised with an actor and model who spoke about being called “chubby and pretty” suggesting that people were often surprised the two could go together.

“It hurts more than it really makes you feel good,” she wrote. It was not until Tuesday night that police located the man in the red car. He has now been questioned twice and provided investigat­ors with a “version

of events”.

FROM PAGE 1

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia