News, Culture & Society

Hunt for man who watched as schoolgirl was kidnapped from Melbourne strip

Victoria Police are offering a $350,000 reward to help solve a case where an 18-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl was abducted off the street in South Yarra and raped more than 30 years ago.

The teenager had been selling flowers on the night of Friday November 22, 1985 to restaurants and was walking along Chapel Street and sometime after 10pm when she was approached by a man who threatened her and pulled her towards a car with another man inside on Bray Street.

She was bound, gagged and blindfolded, driven to an unknown property, and seriously sexually assaulted over a number of hours while still blindfolded. She was then dumped on Yarra Boulevard in Richmond around 1am on Saturday, November 23.

Detectives believe three men were involved in the attack. The victim died in 2008.

Victoria Police are offering a $350,000 reward to help solve a case where an 18-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl (pictured) was abducted off the street in South Yarra

Investigators have filmed a recreation of the victim being grabbed on the street in South Yarra. Officer in charge of the Sexual Crimes Squad, Detective Inspector Steve Wilson, says he believes the reward and re-enactment could prove crucial in solving the case.

‘This horrific incident may have happened over 30 years ago, however ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice remains as important to us as ever,’ he said.

‘I absolutely believe that with the right information, it can be solved.’

He said the attack was particularly brutal and would have had a significant effect on the victim.

‘Our victim was still at school at the time of the abduction and assault – she was really just a kid,’ he said.

‘She was studying for her final year exams and ended up delaying them while she coped with the aftermath.

‘I think she showed great strength of character to go on with her life the way she did, she lived overseas and was known as a very active person.

‘Police are looking for anyone who might have witnessed the incident in Bray Street and can provide information about the men or the vehicle to come forward.  

The schoolgirl (pictured) was bound, gagged and blindfolded, driven to an unknown property, and raped over a number of hours while still blindfolded

The schoolgirl (pictured) was bound, gagged and blindfolded, driven to an unknown property, and raped over a number of hours while still blindfolded 

He said a past statement given by the victim indicated a man had made direct eye contact with the woman as she was being dragged into the car. 

Police believe this man could hold valuable information in catching the offenders three decades later.

‘From what we’ve been able to find, he has never spoken to police however we believe he could have information that is crucial to this investigation,’ he said.

‘We’d also like to speak to anyone out there who has any other information about the incident or who was involved.’

One of the victim’s female friends spoke with The Herald Sun but chose not to be identified.

‘Susan was such a resilient, energetic, vibrant, zany character and personality, she’s the kind of person that even though something horrible had happened to her she didn’t let it get in the way of living her life to the fullest,’ she said. 

‘She became less trusting of males in her life, she valued sex a whole lot less.’ 

Police are now hunting for a man who made eye contact with the schoolgirl (pictured) moments before she was kidnapped

Police are now hunting for a man who made eye contact with the schoolgirl (pictured) moments before she was kidnapped  

She said the whole ordeal had along lasting effect on her late friend who said she completely changed the way she interacted with males.

Detective Inspector Wilson said the attack was particularly brutal and would have had a significant effect on the victim.

‘Our victim was still at school at the time of the abduction and assault – she was really just a kid,’ he said.

‘I think she showed great strength of character to go on with her life the way she did, she lived overseas and was known as a very active person.’  

Police hope the reward will remind the public that police have not given up on solving the case. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.     

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk