Man Says He Saw Girl Carried Away in 1970

Cheryl Grimmer vanished from Fairy Meadow beach in Australia at age 3
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2023 4:39 PM CST
Man Says He Saw Girl Carried Away in 1970
Cheryl Grimmer   (New South Wales police)

Cheryl Grimmer's family has waited 53 years for answers about her disappearance from a beach in Australia. "I won't sleep until it's over," her brother Ricki said. There's a new glimmer of hope for resolution, after a man told a BBC true crime podcast that he saw a teenage boy carrying a small child away from Fairy Meadow beach on Jan. 12, 1970. The man, who doesn't want to be publicly identified, was 7 at the time. Cheryl was 3. The memory is "etched in my mind," he said, per the BBC. His attention was drawn to the teenager moving "sort of full-stride with this baby in his arm," the man told the podcast. "I heard this screaming of the kid. That's what caught my ear. What was that shrieking sound? I turned around and that's what I saw."

A retired police detective who worked on the case in 2016 said this is the first person to claim to have seen a teenage boy apparently taking a child that day. After speaking to the man, Damian Loone called the account compelling. "He sounded very credible to me," Loone said. New South Wales police are in contact with the potential witness, per the BBC. Promising leads have fallen apart over the years. There had been reports of a young man seen with a toddler, and a suspect who was a teenager at the time was charged. That case collapsed, per Police announced a $1 million reward—about $650,000 US—for information leading to a conviction in 2020, the 50th anniversary of the Cheryl's disappearance. (More disappearance stories.)

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