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THE families of Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte – missing from Bendigo since 1968 – say they want to give them the “burial they deserve”, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
Maureen’s sister Lynne Ireland, and Allan’s brother Kevin Whyte, both spoke at a Victoria Police press conference announcing a $1 million reward for information that leads to a conviction.
The pair have been missing since November 23, 1968.
Ms Ireland said they just wanted answers.
“We’re not after a conviction or anything, all we’ve been after from the day dot is the kids – the remains,” she said.
“We just want them brought back to the family so we can give them the burial they deserve.”
Maureen and Allan were last seen leaving a dance in Mundy Street, California Gully. A coronial inquest, completed in 2014, found there was not enough evidence to lay a murder charge in relation to the disappearance.
The $1 million reward is the most significant step in the case since the inquest was completed.
Maureen’s father Stanley Braddy was named as the only suspect during the inquest, and was questioned by barristers in Bendigo.
Ms Ireland said he treated the court with disrespect.
“If you read the testaments from the coronial inquest, the suspect in question sat back in the chair and said ‘prove it’. Showed very little respecet for the judge,” she said.
“To me, the attitude of the accused in that courtroom, and what was said in that courtroom, does state to what happened to those kids that night - they were definitely murdered.”
Ms Ireland also spoke of the last time she saw her sister alive, and the daily reminders of the disappearance..
“It doesn’t matter what you do, you look in the mirror and might see Maureen, because you’re being sisters, you’re looking back - the little delights - and some of the things you do you think, yep, that’s Maureen, she would have done that,” she said.
“She was only 16, she had no life.”
Maureen came home from her grandmother’s earlier on the day of her disappearance. Ms Ireland said she looked “really upset over something”.
That was the last time she saw her.
Mr Whyte said it was a devastating incident for the families involved.
“It’s hard, bloody hard,” he said.
“I want to find the remains, have them brought back home.”
Mr Whyte spoke of the relationship he had with his younger brother, including working on farms together.
“He was a happy go lucky boy. We used to go fishing, camping, we used to go away on farms, working on farms, different areas,” he said.
He claimed to have spoken with Allan as he was leaving the dance in California Gully. Allan told him he was going to take Maureen home.
“And that was the last I ever saw him,” Mr Whyte said.
Police announced the reward with the hope that even the smallest piece of information could give detectives the lead they need.
Detective Inspector Stephen Dennis said it did not matter how insignificant the information might be.
“The coronial inquest highlighted the fact that they fell on foul play,” he said.
“We know they were at the dance, and they’ve disappeared after. A number of people were there, probably people aware they were going there, that’s why we appeal for anyone with info to come forward
“It may be something trivial”
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.