The family of Chris Dawson say they are “disappointed” he has been arrested and will be charged over his wife Lynette’s murder, 37 years after she disappeared from the couple’s Sydney home.
Just hours after Chris’s arrest on Wednesday morning, his family slammed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) saying the 70-year-old is innocent and claimed there is still more evidence to be investigated.
“We are disappointed at the decision of the DPP as there is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris and their daughters,” the statement posted on social media read.
“We have no doubt whatsoever that Chris will be found not guilty as he is innocent. There will be no further comment. Please respect the privacy of Chris and his family.”
Detectives from the Queensland Police Service’s Homicide Squad arrested Chris just before 8am on Wednesday morning in the presence of Strive Force Scriven investigators at a home in Biggera Water on the Gold Coast.
They charged him with an arrest warrant and he appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court, where NSW detectives applied for and were granted his extradition to Sydney.
Speaking at a press conference following the arrest, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said over the course of Operation Scriven and the re-launch of the investigation earlier this year, additional evidence was identified that enabled them to build on their case against Chris.
“They were predominately statements from witnesses that helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together,” he explained.
“No doubt it will be a voluminous brief with an enormous amount of evidence and obviously there will be a number of witnesses that will be called.”
Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, also praised the work of Strike Force Scriven investigators who have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth behind the cold case.
“A team of dedicated detectives has been investigating this case over the past three years,” he said in a statement.
“The resolve of the Unsolved Homicide Unit detectives shows that they will continue to search for the truth, no matter how many years may pass.”
The arrest comes after popular podcast The Teacher’s Pet, produced by The Australian, revisited the cold case in detail and recalled how Chris claimed at the time of Lyn’s disappearance that she needed time away and left the home intentionally.
Just a few days later, he moved his schoolgirl lover into the family home. He then waited six weeks to report his wife missing.
Despite two coronial inquests recommending Chris be prosecuted for murder, the DPP stated at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.