Monday 2 September 2013
Special Edition 47
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Pinpointing spot of burnt-out car could help locate missing teenager's remains
From abc.net.au Updated Fri 30 Aug 2013, 3:56pm AEST
PHOTO: SA police say the exact location of a burnt out car in the area could provide the key to finding Karen Williams' remains.
Identifying the former location of a burnt-out car on the edge of Coober Pedy in South Australia's outback could be the
key to finding the body of missing teenager Karen Williams.
Police say the body of the 16-year-old was hidden in the boot of the vehicle on the outskirts of the town for
several days after she was murdered in 1990.
It is believed her body was removed a few days later and buried in a mineshaft within 20 metres of the car - possibly a white Ford sedan.
Several shafts were excavated in July near the intersection of Flathill Road and Malliotis Boulevard but there was no sign of Ms Williams' remains.
Superintendent Des Bray says the area has since been levelled and built on and the exact spot where the car once sat is unknown.
"It's critical to the success of this investigation to identify the exact location that vehicle was parked or abandoned.
Clearly there would be somebody who owned that vehicle.
There would be somebody who recovered the vehicle at a subsequent time from that site and would be able to tell us
exactly where the vehicle was," he said.
"The vehicle would have been about five metres or less from the edge of the bitumen, so everybody driving past in
Coober Pedy would have seen that vehicle.
We're not looking for somewhere right out in the fields. We're looking at the edge of town at a T-junction, with a bitumen road.
"If we identify the owner of that vehicle and where that vehicle is, even though it's 23 years... the contents of the burnt out
vehicle and the boot would probably be the same today from a forensic perspective and so there would be a very good chance of
recovering forensic material."
PHOTO: A car similar to the burnt out vehicle in which a missing teenager's body is believed to have been dumped.
Police have previously said the teenager was last seen in a Datsun 180B between 5:00am and 6:00am on August 4, 1990 and
repeated a request for information about that vehicle.
The car is believed to have been sold or disposed of in the town or at Glendambo since Ms Williams' disappearance.
Police say the vehicle could still be in use and had the registration number SLG 539, but that could have changed.
Superintendent Bray says police have interviewed people from Sydney, Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Coober Pedy itself as part of the
investigation, but says not all of those approached have been co-operative.
"There are some people seriously at risk of prosecution for impeding the investigation," he said.
Superintendent Bray says other mine shafts in the search area remain unexplored by police.
"Obviously no-one can go back and excavate those sites and steal any evidence because they're sixty feet deep," he said.
"I think we're in the best position to find her that we've ever been in.
"We know that we're very, very close."
In a field of opals Keith McGowan finds a rough diamond
Coober Pedy describes itself as “The Opal Capital Of The World.” And it most likely is. The mining town is
located 846ks from Adelaide and 685ks south of Alice Springs. It's fair to say it's out of the way.
Coober Pedy is also home to maybe 3,250 to 4,000 people. Nobody knows for sure exactly how many.
What is known is that 59 nationalities are represented with a large number of Greeks, who put on their now famous, and looked forward
to, Greek Bar-B-Que every Thursday night at the Greek Club. All welcome.
Coober Pedy is also home to 800 to 900 Aboriginals.
Tourism and Opals keep Coober Pedy going.
At first sight the town ain't pretty. Some years ago I took one look at The Pedy, filled my car with Petrol and drove on.
Since then I have come to know what makes this place tick, it's people, and how to enjoy the relaxed life style of this unique place.
I spent 22 days here a couple of years ago.
Coober Pedy has a radio station, cleverly named “Dusty Radio 104.5fm” which evolved from the effort of Mr Bob Price who taught
Media Studies at the local school.
In 1997 in the school gym, something resembling a radio station began to take shape.
A while later it became a “Community Partnership” and was moved into the old police house.
Dusty Radio to this day is still officially a schoolroom and Bob Price is the School's Principal and part of the committee of three who run it.
Another member of that trio is Kevin Woon (pictured left with Keith McGowan right) who is Station Manager/Chairperson of Dusty Radio Inc,
and conducts the Wednesday Night Blues Program “Big Bad Kev's Blues Show.” He does other stuff too.
Kevin arrived in Coober Pedy in 2002 after doing some training at 5DGTR Mt Gambier.
That made him immensely qualified for his role at Dusty.
The sad truth is Dusty Radio is pretty much a non event. Almost all you hear is music off a computer,
with no station id's, no voices, no time calls, no local info, no weather, no news, no nuthin'.
Dusty Radio is a gem in the Opal fields laying undiscovered.
Kevin Woon told me, “I have a vision for this place to become much more important to the community than we are,
but we can't get volunteers. No one wants to present programs and if they do, it'll only be for a week or two then they move on.
It's the itinerant nature of this place.”
Kevin showed me the “station roster “ on the wall, but for 3 to 4pm Monday to Friday, it was pretty much empty.
“Each day we have an hour presented by the media studies kids from the school and some of them are pretty good,
in fact one lass is now on the Indigenous station in Port Augusta,” the Station Manager told me proudly.
I sat in the Dusty Radio studio feeling almost angry about what I was seeing and hearing here.
I questioned again Kevin's efforts to get the station on the air properly.
“We've had articles in the local paper, we've asked the various community groups, sports clubs… you name it and we've asked them,” Kevin told me.
Nice idea Kevin, but we have no staff, remember ?
When I asked Kevin about the station's income I was told there are no ads this week and there were three the week before.
When I ask locals about Dusty Radio they don't know a lot, but then there isn't a lot to know.
As I was about to leave Dusty Radio a girl from the school's media studies arrived to conduct her first radio program.
With her was a lad who presented a 60's Hit Parade the night before. The Station Manager told the boy his show was very good and
I got the feeling he'll be behind the mike some more. Maybe these kids will be the future of Dusty Radio 104.5fm,
the “Undiscovered Gem of the Opal Fields.”
Radio Stars of the future? Who knows? James “Mullet” Bunting and Chrystal “CJ” Jem arrive at Dusty Radio to broadcast their program.
FAR NORTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE INC
Prelim Final 31/8/13
Hornridge 11.8 (74) defeated Olympic Dam 3.17 (35)
BEST, Hornridge: Tyler Harman, Daniel Pegler, Bowde Kelly, Benjamin Grimston, Luke Webb
GOALS, Hornridge: Joel Harman 4, Tyler Harman 2, Luke Webb 1, Trent Grosser 1, Glenn Dingwall 1, Ashley Webster 1, Bowde Kelly 1
BEST Olympic Dam: Wade Hooper, Jonathon Veale, Sam Fairclough, Benjamin Mummery, Tom Clarke
GOALS Olympic Dam: Tom Clarke 1, Matthew Elson 1, Sam Fairclough 1
Next week the grand final will be between Roxby Districts and Hornridge at 2 pm
Gates will be manned at 9am All adults $5