News

Families of missing and murdered

WOOMBYE State School students show their support for Daniel Morcombe during a visit to the school by Daniel's parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe.
WOOMBYE State School students show their support for Daniel Morcombe during a visit to the school by Daniel's parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe. Cade Mooney

TAKING a break on their road trip, Bruce and Denise Morcombe were met by a woman with one story they never expected to hear.

They never planned to meet Jenny Kerwin, whose daughter Natasha Ryan faked her own disappearance when she was a teenage schoolgirl.

Mrs Kerwin wanted to meet Daniel Morcombe's parents in Rockhampton and she was greeted with a warm hug, Mrs Morcombe said.

Notorious serial killer Leonard Fraser was on trial for the murder of 14 year old Natasha when the runaway teen was found safe and well in 2003.

Mrs Kerwin is one of few people who can comprehend the pain the Morcombes have lived through.

"She knew our journey and she expressed her sorrow," Mr Morcombe said.

"We could understand her journey was equally as difficult.

"There was a different result ... but the pain over those years is exactly the same."

As they toured the state spreading a child safety message, the Morcombes have met families of other missing children this week, including the parents of Marilyn Wallman who disappeared 39 years ago.

"We sort of compare notes as to how they come to be and what's the best way forward for us and them," Mr Morcombe said.

Elderly parents John and Daphne Wallman last saw their daughter as she rode her bicycle from their Mackay house in 1972.

Marilyn's younger brothers, Rex and David, found their sister's bike and bag on the side of the road 10 minutes later.

"We just wanted to talk to someone who has been through similar things," Rex, 48, said of meeting the Morcombes.

"Anyone who hasn't been in this situation, it's impossible to understand what you go through.

"You can't stop thinking about all those things, the what-ifs.

"I was sitting on the side of the road (where Marilyn's bike was found) waiting for my mother to come back with my brother and I heard voices.

"I always say 'what if I had gone down to the headland to see if she was there'.

"I was eight years old and maybe I couldn't have done anything about it."

Marilyn's father John, 75, said he could see the Morcombes were "going through hell too".

On Wednesday morning in Rockhampton, the Morcombes had coffee with the mother of murdered schoolgirl Keyra Steinhardt.

Keyra, nine, was walking home from school in 1999 when she became a victim of Leonard Fraser, who died in jail four years ago.

Keyra's mother, Treasa, said it was "a real honour" to meet the Sunshine Coast parents.

"We talked about our children and we talked about how we are handling it and how well they are doing in the campaign," Ms Steinhardt said.

"Even though my daughter was only missing for two weeks ... it was hell.

"I still have my daughter's ashes and I will never let go."

On Thursday night the Morcombes met with the parents of missing 16-year-old Rachel Antonio, who disappeared from Queens Beach Esplanade, near Bowen, 13 years ago.

Mr Morcombe said most families looked for moral support and to share stories.

Natasha Ryan's parents mourned the suspected death of their daughter while the teen hid away with her older boyfriend, Scott Black, for five years.

Natasha hid in the cupboard of Black's Rockhampton home when he had visitors. Black, now married to Natasha, later spent 12 months in jail for lying to a court that he had not seen or heard from the teenager since she disappeared.

Natasha has vowed never to reveal why she hid from the world.

 

HORROR STORIES

Marilyn Wallman, 14

Marilyn disappeared in Mackay on March 21, 1972. She left home on her bicycle to ride to the Rural Youth Hall. Her two brothers followed the same route 10 minutes later and found Marilyn's bicycle and school bag on the side of the road about 1km from their home. She has not been seen since.

Rachel Antonio, 16

Rachel was last seen walking on the Queens Beach Esplanade near Bowen on April 25, 1998. Her mother drove Rachel to the Summer Garden Cinema about 6pm. With an hour to fill, Rachel walked down to the end of Beach Ave, 200m from the cinema. She was seen leaving the beach at 6.45pm but was never seen after that.

Keyra Steinhardt, 9

Keyra was abducted and murdered as she walked home from school on April 22, 1999. She was the victim of serial killer Leonard Fraser, who was also found guilty of killing women in the Rockhampton area, where Keyra's mother still lives. Fraser died in prison in 2007.

Natasha Ryan

For five years, Natasha was presumed abducted and murdered. She was found hiding in her boyfriend's Rockhampton home in 2003 at the same time Leonard Fraser was on trial accused of abducting and murdering the then 14-year-old.

Topics:  bruce and denise morcombe keyra steinhardt marilyn wallman natasha ryan rachel antonio



Authorities beg parents to ban devices in bedrooms at night

Primary school age children can be easily targeted by online predators.

Primary school aged girls and boys being asked to send naked pics

Fashionistas behind new clothing boutique

Louise Schmidt and Wendy Stensson are preparing to launch Soul Sista.

Louise Schmidt and Wendy Stensson are preparing to launch Soul Sista

COMMENT: All eyes on Hanson for state poll

Pauline Hanson

One Nation politician a LNP lackey?

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

The suburb where house, land prices are spiking

ON THE RISE: 13 Kallatina Terrace, Karalee will go to auction on March 31. Karalee house prices went up 9.9% in the past year.

"It has good hospitals, universities and schools."

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!