Search goes on

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Jon Bas­sett

COTTESLOE Coast­care pres­i­dent Mike Ewing says a for­mer Dutch Inn tea tree grove where po­lice searched for ev­i­dence in the 1988 dis­ap­pear­ance of 21-year-old Julie Cut­ler is a fre­quent dump­ing ground for stolen and un­wanted prop­erty.

“It seems to be one of those places where peo­ple dis­pose of items that peo­ple get rid of when it’s stolen or from cars,” Mr Ewing said.

How­ever, all of the stolen items, such as wal­lets, found by the vol­un­teers in the past have been con­nected to other crimes and a 2002 po­lice search of the dune found no ev­i­dence.

Last Tues­day, cold case po­lice cut through roots and sifted sand from a 4m by 4m sec­tion of the dune near a tea tree stump to find any more prop­erty of Miss Cut­ler’s.

The new search fol­lowed friends and fam­ily iden­ti­fy­ing a purse and di­ary as hers af­ter it was found par­tially buried at the dune in Oc­to­ber 1996.

Mr Ewing said it was un­likely Coast­care’s plant­ing dis­turbed be­long­ings in the past 20 years be­cause the work was con­ducted at shal­low depths, but tea trees had been cut down and dug up by the coun­cil about five years ago.

Ms Cut­ler’s Fiat car with a crushed roof was found on June 22, 1988, near the Cottesloe Beach surf break about 1km north of Dutch Inn.

She was re­ported miss­ing af­ter leav­ing a staff func­tion at the Parmelia Hil­ton Ho­tel sev­eral days ear­lier.

“This search is a re­sult of some items dis­missed in 1997 as not be­ing Julie’s which now may be Julie’s,” De­tec­tive-sergeant Gai­lene Hamil­ton said last week.

The items were de­stroyed by po­lice as part of nor­mal pro­ce­dure later.

In June po­lice ap­pealed for in­for­ma­tion about the dis­ap­pear­ance, in­clud­ing a $250,000 re­ward.

■ Call Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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