MYSTERY: Why a 58-year-old cold-case has been reopened
JANETTE MCGUIRE was just a teenager when her mother disappeared ‒ feared murdered in Lismore.
But 58 years on, the Mcguires may now be able get to the closure they crave and need.
It was March 1962 when Myrtle Irene Wilton was last seen at her home on McKenzie Street in Lismore. Soon after, she was reported as "missing" to local police.
At the time, the mother-of-four was described as medium, thin build, brown medium permed hair, a fair complexion and in her early fifties.
She would be more than 100-years-old now.
Ms Mcguire said to this day, she still believes her mother was murdered.
"Everyone believes she was murdered because she didn't take anything with her," the Sydney resident said.
"Nothing was missing, she never accessed her bank account, she didn't take her reading glasses."
When her mother didn't return home Ms Mcguire was sent down to Sydney and "put into" Paramattas Girls Home.
"I was the youngest of my siblings, they were grown up when it happened," the 74-year-old said.
"She just disappeared - it was a shock - (it) felt awful to be sent away."
But Ms Mcguire said the hardest part was not knowing what happened.
"No-one had ever been charged, searches have never found anything, so it eventually became a cold case," she said.
"All these years I thought missing persons had her on their books, but they didn't.
"I tried to get her recognised on the Australian Missing Persons Register years ago but couldn't. But they've disbanded the old one and have a new one now and it's much better."
A breakthrough in the case happened on Thursday, when Ms McGuire met with detectives at the Missing Person's Unit in Paramatta, Sydney.
"The policeman took DNA, they asked lots of questions and took a lot of things down and took lots of photocopies of papers I had," she said.
"So now, if they find any bones, or test bones they've already found, then they've got my DNA now and they'll know who it is.
"But the biggest thing is they are going to do an investigation into the case as soon as they can and send the information to the Lismore police. Then it will go to the coroners court."
Mrs Wilton is now finally registered on the Australian Missing Persons Register and Ms Mcquire said police would be making the case "public".
"I am happy to know I now have a missing persons number because now she's been recognised as a person," she said
"I just want closure on this.
"My sister and our family needs closure, she's 84."
Ms Mcguire had a message for others who have had a loved one or friend go missing.
"Don't give up ... all the way through (the process) and make sure the person is on the missing persons register.
"There's always hope someone must know something about these people.
"If anyone knows anything about my mother please come forward, it doesn't matter how small it is, and stop a family from grieving. We've been grieving all our lives."
Anyone with any information about Mrs Wiltons case, please contact the Missing Person's unit in Parramatta on 02 8688523 and quote missing persons number - E73611872.
A Police NSW Spokeswoman said detectives from the Missing Persons Registry have met with Myrtle Irene Wilton's family, and have taken a report of her disappearance.
Following inquiries into the existence of a historical report, no records were located.
"Myrtle, then aged 51, was last seen at her home in Lismore in March 1962," the spokeswoman said.
"She has not been seen or heard from since and there are concerns for her welfare. The case will be allocated to officers from Richmond Police District for future investigation.
She said Mrs Wilton's missing person's report details are available on the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre website.
Information about how to report a missing person is available on the NSW Police Force website: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/can_you_help_us/missing_persons.
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