News, Culture & Society

Parents of woman who vanished from Melbourne train station 30 years ago refuse to give up hope

Devastated parents of 23-year-old woman who vanished from a train station 30 years ago refuse to give up on finding her – as fresh new lead on the cold case emerges

  • Sarah MacDiarmid last seen walking through train station car park in July 1990
  • 23-year-old’s blood was found near her car but no-one has ever been charged 
  • Parents are hoping 30th anniversary of disappearance can provide new leads
  • Frankston resident claimed he found what appeared to be two shallow graves 
  • The discovery followed unproven theory her body was dumped in Frankston tip 
  • Father Peter MacDiarmid said family would never refuse offers of information 

Sarah MacDiarmid, 23, was last seen walking through the car park of Kananook train station in south-east Melbourne in July 1990. An inquest ruled her death as a result of foul play

 The parents of a young woman who vanished 30 years have refused to give up hope of finding out what happened to her – as a fresh new lead emerged into her disappearance from a suburban train station.

Sarah MacDiarmid, 23, was last seen walking through the car park of Kananook train station near her home in Frankston, south-east Melbourne on the evening of July 11, 1990. 

The Scottish-Australian woman’s blood was found near her car after her parents reported her missing the next day – with forensic detectives believing she was murdered.

Police also found drag marks leading into nearby bushes. 

A 1996 inquest ruled her death a result of foul play and that she was killed by an unknown person or people about 10.20pm that evening. 

Her parents Peter and Sheila MacDiarmid are hoping the 30th anniversary of her disappearance can provide fresh leads and finally provide closure following an ordeal which ‘turned their lives upside down’.

A former Frankston resident who scoured the area on his bicycle in search of clues in 2004 told Daily Mail Australia he had found what appeared to be two shallow graves in a bush reserve off McClelland Drive in the suburb’s east. 

 

Her parents Peter and Sheila MacDiarmid have refused to give up hope of solving the three-decades old cold case

Her parents Peter and Sheila MacDiarmid have refused to give up hope of solving the three-decades old cold case

The 23-year-old's car was found in the Kananook train station car park (pictured right at the time of her disappearance) after her parents reported her missing - with her blood found nearby and drag marks leading into the bushes

The 23-year-old’s car was found in the Kananook train station car park (pictured right at the time of her disappearance) after her parents reported her missing – with her blood found nearby and drag marks leading into the bushes

The resident, who did not wish to be named, claimed the grass had been cut short above the two small sections of bushland. 

He had been inspired to investigate the disappearance after a TV series called Sensing Murder aired that year and suggested the unproven theory her body had been discarded on a rubbish dump on McClelland Drive. 

‘I phoned Frankston Police and said I’ve found what could be two shallow graves –but they refused to investigate because they wanted me to dig it up first,’ he claimed.

‘I didn’t want to do that because it might incriminate myself.’ 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victoria Police for comment. 

Peter MacDiarmid said while multiple theories about his daughter’s fate had been offered in the three decades since 1990, he and his wife would never turn down information which could solve the case. 

Pictured: Ms MacDiarmid. A former Frankston resident has claimed to have found a fresh lead in the search for clues into her disappearance

Ms McDiarmid's death was ruled a result of foul play and that she was killed by an unknown person or people about 10.20pm on the evening of July 11, 1990

Pictured: Ms MacDiarmid. A former Frankston resident has claimed to have found a fresh lead in the search for clues into her disappearance

‘I don’t think police are much the wiser about the case at the moment – but the more publicity and the more help we can get the better,’ he said.

He added the pain of her disappearance had never gone away and continued to drive the family to find answers.

‘Some days you’re on an even keel, but on others you’ll think about it or be hearing something on TV about a family who have lost a loved one and it really hits you that your whole life has been turned upside down,’ he said.

Police say they are continuing to investigate Ms MacDiarmid’s disappearance and are pursuing active lines of inquiry.

A $1million reward is also still available for those who can assist the investigation. 

‘When new information comes through, it stirs up the emotions,’ her father said. ‘Who knows what will turn up – but you have to look at it.’

Four-time killer Bandali Debs, who murdered two police officers in 1998, was named in 2014 as a suspect in the disappearance of Ms MacDiarmid

Four-time killer Bandali Debs, who murdered two police officers in 1998, was named in 2014 as a suspect in the disappearance of Ms MacDiarmid

Serial killer Paul Denyer and cop killer Bandali Debs have both emerged as suspects in the case but no-one has been charged over her disappearance.

Debs was convicted of murdering Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rod Miller in Melbourne in 1998.

He was also convicted of murdering 18-year-old Kristy Harty in Upper Beaconsfield, southeast of Melbourne, in 1997 and 34-year-old Donna Anne Hicks in western Sydney in 1995.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk