Missing Persons - Susan Goodwin
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State Government offers $200,000 reward for information in cold case murder of Port Lincoln woman Susan Gaye Goodwin
The State Government is offering a $200,000 reward for information that will help
solve an 11-year cold case murder.
Port Lincoln woman Susan Gaye Goodwin disappeared on July 19, 2002, and was reported
missing when she failed to pick up her partner from a local processing plant at 4.30pm that day.
Ms Goodwin, 39, had been seen an hour earlier shopping at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets
looking "distressed" or "distraught".
Her partner, Michele Peterson, took alternative transport to the couple's Moonta Cres home,
where she found fresh meat in the kitchen ready to be cooked for their evening meal.
Ms Goodwin had nothing in her possession when she disappeared except the clothes she was
wearing and about $140.
Police later revealed they believed she was in the company of other people when she died
and may have been buried in a shallow grave.
Ms Goodwin was a social drug user and had been seen with a known drug dealer in town on
the day of her disappearance.
However, Major Crime Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Des
Bray today said it was unclear who Ms Goodwin was seen with and what her movements were.
Det-Supt Bray said it was "clear" that Ms Goodwin's car had been used by people connected with her disappearance.
"There is no reason why she would disappear other than coming to some foul play," he said."
"Nobody really knows what happened to Susan Goodwin other than we believe that she was murdered."
In November 2005, police and SES members searched scrub near the Port Lincoln greyhound track without
success. A search of a property was also conducted after the Wangary bushfires but nothing was found.
In 2006, her disappearance was declared a major crime with police believing she was murdered.
Det-Supt Bray said he was confident there were people who could provide information to help police solve the case.
"As a result of information from the public, we have identified several people who we believe there is a possibility
they could be involved in her disappearance," he said.
"All of the investigation that has been done around those people has been able to eliminate some, there are others it
can't eliminate, but it can't prove they were involved either."
Police Minister Michael O'Brien said the $200,000 reward was available to anyone who provided information that led to
an arrest or conviction.
"Since Ms Goodwin disappeared, there has been no indication of what has happened to her," he said.
"She has not contacted family or friends, accessed her bank accounts or been seen since the day of her disappearance.
"On the day she vanished, her car was found locked in her driveway, which was considered out of character as her car
was usually left unlocked."
Mr O'Brien said police had not received enough information about the case despite several appeals for public assistance.
"We hope the offer of this reward will help provide enough information to lead detectives to those responsible and
give Ms Goodwin's partner and her family closure after a search for answers that has gone on for over a decade," he said.
Anyone with information about Ms Goodwin's disappearance should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
$200,000 reward for Susan Goodwin information
Police hope a $200,000 reward can prick a guilty conscience and lead to an arrest over the disappearance
and suspected murder of Port Lincoln woman Susan Gaye Goodwin.
Miss Goodwin, 39, was last seen visiting a nearby acquaintance on July 19 in 2002 and was reported missing
after she failed to meet her partner at a local business later that day.
Since then she has not contacted family, friends or accessed her bank accounts.
"There was no reason for her to disappear other than foul play," Superintendent Des Bray told reporters in
Adelaide on Tuesday.
Supt Bray said recent breakthroughs and arrests in cold cases including Louise Bell and Karen Williams
showed the importance of renewed police appeals, even after 11 years.
"We are confident there are people out there who would hold information to provide a breakthrough ... the
reality is time creates opportunities – relationships change, even criminals get an attack of the guilts," he said.
In 2006, her disappearance was declared a major crime with police suspecting the then 39-year-old had been murdered.
"I'm confident this reward will remind people of Susan's disappearance and get people thinking
again about the circumstances."
Police had received useful information in the past, which had led to searches for Miss Goodwin's
body but to no avail, he said.
Supt Bray said investigations over the years had identified a number of people of interest, some
of who had been eliminated.
On whether Miss Goodwin had been in the company of a local drug dealer before her disappearance,
he said that information had not been resolved.
"It depends on who you believe ... certainly Susan wasn't a bad person, she had made some bad
choices," he said.
"We're urging anyone who knows something about her disappearance to call us.
"One new detail may be the single missing piece of information police need to locate
and then convict the person responsible for her murder."
If you have any information about Miss Goodwin's disappearance call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Who killed Susan Goodwin?
Detectives from Major Crime are continuing investigations
in Port Lincoln this week, hoping new information from the public
will be able to help put a seven-year murder mystery to rest.
Local resident Susan Goodwin disappeared in 2002 with police
treating her disappearance as a murder.
"We're conducting a cold case review of Susan Goodwin's
disappearance, which has been happening since late last year," said
Detective Brevet Sergeant with Major Crime Anthony Vanderstelt.
Major Crime Detectives told ABC Online that they are in the Port
Lincoln area again, continuing their investigations.
"We think Susan may have met with foul play and it's been
investigated as a murder investigation," he said.
Major Crime say new information has come to light and they're
calling on members of the public to come forward if they've got any more information.
Back in 2002 ABC Online published a story 11 days after Susan Goodwin went
missing, stating the Port Lincoln Police had concerns for the safety of the then 39 year old woman.
The story at the time stated -
Susan Goodwin was last seen at about 12.30pm on Friday the 19th of July 2002 on Liverpool Street.
She is described as being 65 kilograms in weight, 170 centimetres tall, with brown collar length hair,
a fair complexion, slim build, and blue eyes.
Susan was last seen wearing a jumper (colour unknown) and jeans (colour unknown). Concerns are held for her welfare.
In the 11 days following her disappearance a search group had already combed areas around Port Lincoln,
including a search in the local scrublands on motorbikes.
Susan Goodwin's vehicle -
As part of their investigation, Major Crime is also looking at the circumstances surrounding
Susan Goodwin's vehicle and how it came to be parked at her home.
The article from July 2002 also carried a photograph of Susan Goodwin's vehicle stating:
Susan Goodwin's vehicle was last sighted at 3.30pm on Friday the 19th of July 2002, on Mortlock
Terrace near the roundabout heading towards the Central Business District.
The vehicle was later found at the missing person's home at Moonta Crescent at 4.45pm, just one-and-a-half hours later.
If you know anything about Susan Goodwin's disappearance please call the Port Lincoln Police
on 08 86 883 020 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Without a Trace- 43 Cases Probed
Everywhere Susan Goodwin
went she look her toothbrush
and a small bottle of water.
But the Port Lincoln woman
took neither with her the day she
She had ignored her obsession with dental hygiene, a fact
that gave police reason to worry
about her safety.
Police said events from years
ago ruted out the likelihood of
suicide - Susan had survived an
horrific car crash in which her
three siblings were killed.
"She considered life precious,"
Major Crime investigator Detective Sergeant Mick Standing
There had been no falling out
or altercation with her partner,
Michel Peterson, with whom she
lived, but something had distressed her on the day she vanished.
Susan had arranged to pick up
Ms Peterson from a Port Lincoln
fish processing plant at 4.30pm
on July 19.
She had shopped for food for
the evening meat and was seen
in town by people who later told
police she was "distressed" or
Why Susan was upset is not
clear. She drove her four-wheel
drive back home and apparently
unpacked her groceries.
At 4.30pm Ms Peterson arrived
home and became alarmed after finding the four-wheel drive
locked and parked in the drive-
Inside the couple's home meat
had been unpacked and left on
the kitchen bench for the
Investigators built up a picture
of Susan and concluded foul
play was involved. One detective
said "the whole picture is not
The following week police and
SES volunteers scoured 25sq
km of dense scrub near Port Lincoln for clues or a grave.
Susan carried $140 with her
but had not used her bank accounts.
Seventeen months on, her disappearance - listed as a major
crime - still mystifies all concerned.
Her father, Don Goodwin, who
lives in rural Victoria, told the
Sunday Mail his daughter had
"been to hell and back" after the
tragedy ot the car smash.
"She was very close to me and
this has set me back," he said.
"I've come to the conclusion
she's not alive."
Susan's mother, Margaret,
said: "If she was alive we would
have heard from her - somebody knows something."
Sunday Mail (28-12-2003)
Anna Merola/ Peter Haran
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