The Courier-Mail

I spoke to Beaumont girl: man

- BRYAN LITTLELY

FIFTY years after they disappeare­d from a beach without trace, a new witness claims he saw the Beaumont children with their abductor.

Police are investigat­ing after a witness told them he spoke to eldest child Jane Beaumont, 9, and a man the three children were with on South Australia’s Glenelg Beach on the day they disappeare­d.

The witness, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who wished to remain anonymous, responded to a police campaign in May when a missing persons poster prompted him to come forward.

The poster included the detail that the children had disappeare­d from the Glenelg foreshore on January 26, 1966 – not from Colley Reserve in southwest Adelaide, as the witness had understood.

The retiree told police he believes he spoke to Jane minutes before she and her siblings Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4, were taken. He said he also spoke with a young man who was with the children and has identified a distinctiv­e vehicle they drove off in.

The man, who was 20 at the time, said he was eating lunch when he spoke to Jane. “A lad about my age had come up from the beach and used the shower,’’ his statement said. “He had three children with him. The eldest girl was quite chatty and sat on the bench I was on.

“She looked at my lunch. I asked her was she hungry and she said no (the lad) had given them a pound and they had lunch from the bakery.’’

Details from investigat­ions at the time confirmed the children had a one pound note to buy lunch that their parents had not given them. The witness said all four of them got into a car and left.

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