Cops back to study Lar­rimah mys­tery

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - AMOS AIK­MAN NORTH­ERN COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Po­lice have re­turned to the tiny out­back town of Lar­rimah to make more in­quiries into the dis­ap­pear­ance of 70-year-old Paddy Mo­ri­arty, who van­ished with his dog a year ago af­ter a night at the ho­tel on the Stu­art High­way in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

Lo­cals said of­fi­cers were be­lieved to have made the 500km trip south from Dar­win af­ter re­ceiv­ing fresh in­for­ma­tion that might have been over­looked dur­ing pre­vi­ous in­quiries. One per­son sug­gested the in­for­ma­tion could lead to a search of a prop­erty out­side Lar­rimah, although that re­mained un­con­firmed last night.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Matt Allen from the NT Ma­jor Crime Squad con­firmed the ac­tiv­ity on the Mo­ri­arty case. “NT Po­lice car­ried out fresh in­ter­views with res­i­dents on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day to see if they could elicit any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion to as­sist with the case,’’ he said.

“No ar­rests have been made yet in re­la­tion to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, how­ever in­ves­ti­ga­tors are con­tin­u­ing to call for in­for­ma­tion and aren’t rul­ing out fu­ture searches.”

Mr Mo­ri­arty, an Ir­ish-born pen­sioner, has not been seen since leav­ing the Pink Pan­ther ho­tel with a red-brown kelpie at sun­set last De­cem­ber 16. Po­lice are treat­ing his dis­ap­pear­ance as an unsolved homi­cide although no re­mains have been found.

Only a hand­ful of peo­ple live in Lar­rimah, a town riven by sev­eral bizarre feuds brought to na­tional at­ten­tion, in­clud­ing through The Aus­tralian’s award-win­ning pod­cast series Lost in Lar­rimah, about the Mo­ri­arty case. Res­i­dents deny any in­volve­ment in Mr Mo­ri­arty’s dis­ap­pear­ance, and some have grown weary of the on­go­ing in­ter­est by out­siders.

An in­quest ear­lier this year heard that Mr Mo­ri­arty had left home without his hat or bank card and that death threats had been made against him by other lo­cals. The in­quest also heard sto­ries of pea­cocks fed to crocodiles, pet buf­falo baked into pies and that Mr Mo­ri­arty had quar­relled with a man liv­ing op­po­site his car­a­van shortly be­fore he dis­ap­peared.

The in­quest was ad­journed “part-heard” in June.

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