Bristol

Cheryl Grimmer: Missing toddler police offer A$1m reward

Cheryl Grimmer Image copyright Family Handout/PA Media
Image caption Cheryl Grimmer disappeared shortly after her family moved to Australia

Detectives investigating the suspected murder of a British toddler abducted from an Australian beach 50 years ago are offering a million dollar reward.

Three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer, originally from Bristol, vanished from a shower block in Wollongong, New South Wales, on 12 January 1970.

A man was due to face a murder trial but the charges were dropped last year.

Cheryl's brother, Ricki Nash, said he hoped the reward, equivalent to £528,000, would bring justice.

He said: "There are no words to describe the pain of losing a sister and the impact Cheryl's disappearance has had on our entire family.

"Every day we are reminded of the tragic way she was taken from us and we hope this reward is what is needed to bring justice for Cheryl."

The family had emigrated from England to Australia not long before Cheryl disappeared from Fairy Meadow beach, where a memorial walk will be led by her brothers and other relatives later.

Image copyright NSW Police
Image caption Witnesses reported seeing an unknown man carrying Cheryl towards the car park of the Fairy Meadow Surf Club, police say
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Efforts to find her were fruitless, despite extensive searches of the area

In 2017, a man - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was arrested and later charged with Cheryl's murder.

But a judge ruled statements made by the suspect during a police interview in 1971, when he was aged 17, were inadmissible.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales found the evidence could not be heard because the teenager had not had an adult representative present during the interview.

Image copyright Family Handout/PA Media
Image caption Cheryl, second right, will be remembered during a memorial walk led by her three brothers

Det Supt Daniel Doherty, from New South Wales police, said he was appealing to those who knew something but had not previously been inclined to assist officers.

He added: "Witnesses at the time reported seeing an unknown male carrying Cheryl towards the car park 50 years ago today, but there has been no trace of her ever since.

"We welcome any information that may assist the investigation. There are now a million reasons to come forward."

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