NSW Police and the state government have offered a $500,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the solving of the “suspicious disappearance” of Marion Barter. True crime geeks, now’s your time to help out.
Marion Barter was a Gold Coast teacher and mother who disappeared in 1997 after displaying “erratic” behaviour. She was reported missing after she didn’t call for her son’s birthday. She was last seen leaving a Southport service station in a red Honda Civic Breeze with a mysterious, unidentified man.
Police then found that she had left Australia for the UK under the name Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel, which it turns out she changed legally a month before she left.
Now, while a coronial inquest is currently underway in Byron Bay about her disappearance, police are appealing to the public for valuable information about what happened to her — with a $500,000 reward if that information leads to the arrest and conviction of any person responsible for Marion’s “suspicious disappearance”.
There are a lot of suspicious details and conspiracies around this 25-year-old cold case — so much so that it became the focus of the smash-hit 2019 podcast The Lady Vanishes.
On Marion’s outgoing passenger card, she said she was divorced and planning to stay in Luxembourg. But now investigators think she might have re-entered Australia under her new name on August 2 1997, with her passenger card stating she was married and living in Luxembourg.
Marion’s daughter Sally Leydon is hoping the new reward will bring her some answers.
“My mother’s behaviour before leaving Australia was out of character and we know she was seen around the Southport area inside a vehicle with an unknown man,” she said.
“She also missed my brother’s birthday – something I know she would never do – and had her bank account drained in increments once she was reported missing.
“I have no doubt these bizarre occurrences were because something untoward was happening in her life, and that thing still remains a heartbreaking mystery for my family today.”