Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Glenyce Rae McGOWAN

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Glenyce Rae McGOWAN

Delivered on : 28 May 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : In December 1975 Ms McGowan was travelling up north to visit a friend in tom Price.  She never made it to tom Price.  Ms McGowan disappeared from the Nanutarra Roadhouse on 10 December 1975 and has never been seen nor heard from again.

Ms McGowan was 19 years old when reported missing by her parents on 19 December 1975.  The investigation commenced by WA Police to explore the circumstances surrounding the death, the cause of death and whether it could be established that there was criminal culpability of any person in relation the death was delayed.  This was due to a delay of nine days in reporting Ms McGowan missing and problems associated with accessing the area due to rising floodwaters from Cyclone Joan.  Remains were discovered in the area of the roadhouse on three occasions which led to consideration they may belong to Ms McGowan.   All were excluded following DNA samples provide from her relatives.

Police conducted cold case reviews in 2003, 2006 and again in 2016 and at the conclusion of these further investigations police found there was insufficient evidence to proceed with ay charge against a person or persons.  Ms MGowan is still recorded by WA Police as a missing person, 45 years after her disappearance.  Her body has never been found, but police investigations point to Ms McGowan having died on or about the day she first went missing.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Ms McGowan is deceased and she died on or about 10 December 1975 in the area of the Nanutarra Roadhouse.  It appears very likely she was the victim of foul play and while there was evidence obtained by police that pointed them in the direction of the last known person who was known to have had contact with Ms McGowan there is no evidence to directly link him to her disappearance.  Further, he is now deceased, so cannot be afforded an opportunity to give evidence, or make submissions on his own behalf.

Accordingly the Deputy State Coroner did not make any finding that any particular person was involved in Ms McGowan’s disappearance and death and to the cause and manner of her death must remain open.

Catch Words : Long Term Missing Person : Open Finding

Last updated: 29-Sep-2021

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