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Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case Mm11

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Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case

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Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case Empty Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case

Post by Verdi on 19.01.20 13:01

Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case

EXCLUSIVE: A suspect confessed but never faced court over the killing of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer, whose body has never been found after she was snatched from an Australian beach in 1970

By Andy Lines

20:38, 17 JAN 2020

Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case 0_Cheryl-Grimmer-missing
English three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer was kidnapped from a seaside changing area (Image: PA)

A crime as harrowing as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann took place 50 years ago this week.

Three-year-old English toddler Cheryl Grimmer was snatched from an Australian beach in broad daylight, never to be seen alive again.

Many believe they know exactly who killed and abducted Cheryl here in the resort of Fairy Meadow near Wollongong, around 50 miles from Sydney.

Shortly after the disappearance, a local 15-year-old boy was questioned.

He confessed carrying her body two-and-a-half miles to farmland and strangling her, but police said there was not enough evidence to charge him.

The transcript reads: “I came around from the back of the shower block and grabbed the little girl. I tied a handkerchief and a shoelace around her mouth to stop her screaming and with the other shoelace I tied up her hands.”

He said he wanted to sexually assault Cheryl but she started to scream.

It reads: “She would not be quiet. So I put my arms around her throat and strangled her. I left her lying on the ground at the side of a tree.

“I covered her up with bushes and leaves and threw some dirt on top.”

A cold case review took place in 2017 and Interpol found a British family who lived in Fairy Meadow in the 1970s and were crucial witnesses.

The British-born suspect, now in his 60s, was arrested and charged but a judge ruled his initial confession could not be used in court as he was not accompanied by an adult.

The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons but lives in Melbourne, denied the crime. The case was dropped in February 2019 and he was freed.

Cheryl’s disappearance has echoes of the case of Madeleine, who went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

A £500,000 appeal by police was launched this week to try and find more evidence to nail Cheryl’s abductor.

Ocean waves crashed in as I stood close to the beach where Cheryl last played. Behind me is the shower block from where she vanished. It has been renovated but it is in exactly the same spot.

Next door is the Fairy Meadow Surf Lifesaving Club, where Cheryl’s mum Carole ran in to report her missing daughter only to find they had no phone. She had to walk to a nearby street to ask a local resident to call police.

Carole and husband Vince and their four children had only recently emigrated to Fairy Meadow from Bristol. Dad Vince became a soldier in the Australian Army. Both died not knowing what happened to their little girl.

Cheryl’s brother Ricki was the last family member to see her alive. She was wearing a royal blue, one-piece swimming costume as she followed him to the men’s showers on January 12, 1970.

He was just seven at the time but remembers waiting for her to come out. When she cheekily refused he ran to tell his mum. By the time they returned Cheryl was gone.

Ricki recently spoke of having to handle 50 years of grief.

He said: “The decisions I made on the day were wrong. It’s been with me all my life. I just want it over with. I shouldn’t have left.

“Everybody says, ‘it’s not your fault’. Come and stand where I’m standing. See what it feels like.”

Cheryl’s brother Stephen said his sister’s birthday was a particularly difficult date for the family, and that she was always missed.

He said: “You’ll be having a family barbecue and she’s not there with her kids or her husband. My kids, Rick’s and Paul’s kids know that there would have been an aunt out there. It’s always at the back of your mind.”

I was at the beach as Cheryl’s three devastated brothers returned to the scene to unveil memorial plaque to mark the 50th anniversary.

It reads: “This commemorative tribute acknowledges the events surrounding the unanswered disappearance of Cheryl Grimmer. This plaque serves as a reminder to all of the tragedy and demonstrates to those who are loved and lost that their memories live on.”

The incident has left deep scars in the local community.

In the Patch bar at the Cabbage Tree Hotel, locals still recall the terrible day.

A local, who lived in a nearby hostel at the time after emigrating from Greece, remembers the day vividly.

He said: “It was such a shock to the community.

“Many of us had just moved to Australia and the disappearance was terrible. At the time it was common knowledge who took Cheryl and it was said she was buried on nearby farmland. It’s houses now so they will never find her body anyway.”

At a memorial parade four days earlier, locals turned out to support the family. Michelle Poole and her mum Maureen took part. “It’s just a sad, sad story,” Michelle said. “And there’s no justice for them. You can murder someone and still walk free.

“Her family have had to live with that, and Cheryl’s mum died without knowing what happened to Cheryl.”

Although she didn’t know the Grimmers, Maureen and family lived in the same hostel at the same time.

“They were migrants like us,” she said. “It’s just sad, what happened.”

Mayor Gordon Bradbery described the crime as one that has “impacted upon our lives ever since”.

He said: “It was unjust, a tragedy of great magnitude, and its implications are still reverberating through our lives today.

"Standing behind me are three brothers who were caught up in that incident when very young.

"When we’re very young and we go through experiences of great trauma and tragedy. It impacts upon our lives and leaves an indelible scar.”

The day after Cheryl’s disappearance, police announced they had four theories. She was either hiding, had wandered into the ocean, fallen into a waterway or been abducted.

There is only person who could end the heartache for the family and finally reveal what happened.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/police-offer-500k-reward-madeleine-21303598


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Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case Empty Re: Police offer £500k reward in Madeleine McCann-style Brit baby snatch cold case

Post by sharonl on 19.01.20 13:23

Ridiculous, they had a witness who confessed, telling them exactly what happened and 50 years later they offer a reward for information because they don't know what happened.

They call this a murder case but there is no body, Madeleine is said to have not been murdered because there is no body, and yet they say that this case has echoes of the McCann case.

The only similarities are the facts that both victims are blonde 3 year old girls.

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Post by PeterMac on 19.01.20 21:19

A breach of the old Judges' Rules, or the present PACE
or in the US failure to comply with Miranda-v-Arizona is fatal to a prosecution.

Even if the person making the confession is telling the truth, the court will not hear it.
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