Revealed: Haunting final hours of Coast missing persons

 

MORE than 38,000 missing persons reports are received by police each year.

According to the Australian Federal Police, anyone can be reported as missing if their disappearance is out of character and there are concerns for their safety and welfare.

While most are found within a short amount of time, there are still more than 2500 long-term missing persons.

The Bulletin takes a look at some of the cases that have links to the Gold Coast.

Andrea Wharton

Gold Coast missing persons: On 19 February 1984 Andrea Wharton left her Gold Coast residence to visit friends at Byron Bay, NSW and has not been seen since. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: On 19 February 1984 Andrea Wharton left her Gold Coast residence to visit friends at Byron Bay, NSW and has not been seen since. Picture: Supplied.

The last time Andrea Wharton was seen by loved ones, she told them she was going to visit friends at Byron Bay.

A couple of days later she phoned her mother and shortly after the family received a letter.

Posted from Sydney, Andrea wrote that she was confused and would be away for a few months more. She has not been heard or seen since.

Ms Wharton would be 56 years old now, disappearing at the very young age of 24.

Queensland Missing Persons' unit boss, Detective Senior Sergeant Damien Powell, said police have not been able to gather enough evidence to determine what happened to Ms Wharton.

"She could still be alive and well in the community and has simply chosen not to make contact," he said.

"It doesn't appear to be suspicious."

Snr Sgt Powell said for every missing person, there are 12 people directly affected.

"It's not only family and friends but neighbours and partners or even employees," he said.

 

Kathleen Farrell

Gold Coast missing persons: Kathleen Farrell was last known to work on the Gold Coast up to September 1992. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: Kathleen Farrell was last known to work on the Gold Coast up to September 1992. Picture: Supplied.

Kathleen Farrell was last known to work on the Gold Coast up to September 1992.

She contacted her family mid-1992, however, she has failed to make any further contact with her family or friends since that time.

Tamela Menzies

Gold Coast missing persons: Tamela Menzies was last seen at Palm Beach on 20 July 1995. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: Tamela Menzies was last seen at Palm Beach on 20 July 1995. Picture: Supplied.

Having travelled from Melbourne, Tammi Dyson, also known as Tammi Menzies, disappeared at Palm Beach one winter's day 25 years ago, leaving her children with their grandma and saying she would be back.

She contacted her mother days later and said she would be staying in NSW for a couple of months and return home. She never did.

Snr Sgt Powell told the Bulletin in 2016 that the disappearance was extremely tough on the family.

POLICE FIND COAST GIRL, 11, WHO WAS MISSING FOR ALMOST A WEEK

Gold Coast missing persons: Tamela Menzies was last seen at Palm Beach on July 20, 1995. Picture: SUPPLIED
Gold Coast missing persons: Tamela Menzies was last seen at Palm Beach on July 20, 1995. Picture: SUPPLIED

"The children have grown up not knowing their mother or where she may be," he said.

"All inquiries at the time failed to shed any light."

According to Snr Sgt Powell, the first 24-48 hours that someone is missing is crucial. Police were not notified of Tammi's disappearance for three months.

"To be told three months down the track that someone is missing and we don't know where they were last seen is extremely difficult," he said.

Police have had no leads since her disappearance but consider it suspicious.

"While we can't rule out suicide, logically she would have made contact with her family, there's no reason for her not to, especially with her children living with her mother."

 

John Arthur Hines

Gold Coast missing persons: John Hines was last seen in the morning hours of May 30, 1997 at his Coombabah home. Picture: SUPPLIED
Gold Coast missing persons: John Hines was last seen in the morning hours of May 30, 1997 at his Coombabah home. Picture: SUPPLIED

John Hines was last seen in the morning hours of May 30, 1997 at his Coombabah home.

He left to go to Southport to meet some friends and has not been seen since.

John was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle at the time, Queensland registration KJ287.

 

Marion Barter (aka Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel)

Gold Coast missing persons: The last time Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel was seen in Australia was at the Surfers Paradise Bus terminal on 22 June 1997. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: The last time Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel was seen in Australia was at the Surfers Paradise Bus terminal on 22 June 1997. Picture: Supplied.

Between 1994 and 1997 Florabella Remakel, who at that time was known as Marion Barter, worked as a teacher at The Southport School (TSS) on the Gold Coast.

In 1996 she won a state wide Queensland teaching excellence award.

Prior to May 1997, Florabella changed her name from Marion Barter to Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel and obtained a new Australian passport in that name.

She did not disclose her name change to her family and on June 22, 1997, she travelled to England for a planned holiday.

In late July or early August 1997, Florabella spoke to her daughter by phone and she indicated she was in England, making no mention of returning to Australia.

 

Gold Coast missing persons: The last time Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel was seen in Australia was at the Surfers Paradise Bus terminal on 22 June 1997. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: The last time Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel was seen in Australia was at the Surfers Paradise Bus terminal on 22 June 1997. Picture: Supplied.

Florabella's passport indicates she returned to Australia via Brisbane at 10am on the August 2, 1997. She arrived back in the country without notifying anyone and has not made contact with anyone since.

On August 13, 1997, a Medicare card in the name of Marion Barter was used at a doctor's surgery at Grafton Shopping World.

In October 1997, Florabella's daughter received information that a bank account in the name of Marion Barter had been accessed in Byron Bay and Burleigh Heads. Inquiries also revealed that a further withdrawal was made at Ashmore in Queensland.

The last time Florabella was seen in Australia was at the Surfers Paradise Bus terminal on June 22, 1997.

 

 

 

Linda Sidon

Gold Coast missing persons: Linda Sidon (also known as Linda Jackson) was last seen by a family member on the Gold Coast around the time she disappeared in June 2009. Picture: Supplied.
Gold Coast missing persons: Linda Sidon (also known as Linda Jackson) was last seen by a family member on the Gold Coast around the time she disappeared in June 2009. Picture: Supplied.

Linda Sidon (also known as Linda Jackson) was last seen by a family member on the Gold Coast around the time she disappeared in June 2009.

It was believed she intended to visit family in New Zealand, however investigations revealed she did not leave Australia.

She does not speak with a New Zealand accent.

 

 

 

If you have information that may assist police please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

jodie.callcott@news.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Revealed: Haunting final hours of Coast missing persons



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