‘My heart aches’: Marion Barter’s family reveal their grief over mysterious disappearance

May 10, 2022
Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan praised Leydon for her determined quest for answers into the disappearance of her mother. Source: Instagram/@ theladyvanishes7news

As the inquest into the disappearance of Marion Barter enters its final days, Barter’s daughter, Sally Leydon, has delivered a heartbreaking statement detailing the impact the mysterious disappearance has had on the family.

Barter was last seen at a Southport bus depot in Queensland, on Sunday, June 22, 1997. In the weeks leading up to her disappearance, Barter was spotted by a family member leaving a service station in Southport, in a red Honda Civic Breeze accompanied by a tall male passenger. It’s believed Barter left Australia for the United Kingdom on June 22 under the name Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel, which she had officially changed a month before leaving the country.

Investigators believe Barter may have re-entered Australia on August 2, 1997, under the name of Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel with an incoming passenger card stating she was married and residing in Luxembourg. Investigations also revealed that following her disappearance, an unknown person appeared to have accessed her bank account, withdrawing a reported $80,000.

A coronial inquest began in June 2021 in order to determine the cause of her disappearance and whether she is still alive.

Leydon stressed to the inquest that she “cannot get on with my life because in my fantasy she is alive and well”.

“I need to find her. Simple. I can’t just sit here and get on with my life,” she said.

“I’m heartbroken she’s not here today to share my life with me.

“My heart aches with anxiety every time I talk about it, I need that pain to stop before it stops me.

“The truth is like water, it will always find a way.”

Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan praised Leydon for her determined quest for answers as to the disappearance of her mother.

“What is clear is that your mother obviously loved you and Owen and obviously you love her enormously and miss her so much,” she said.

New South Wales Police recently announced that the reward for any information regarding the mysterious 1997 disappearance of Barter had been increased to $500,000.

Police announced that the reward is for any information which will lead to the arrest and conviction of any person who is responsible for Barter’s disappearance.

Homicide Squad, Detective Inspector Nigel Warren said he was “hopeful this reward may encourage the flow of new information regarding Marion’s disappearance”.

“We are still working to establish Ms Barter’s movements and whereabouts upon returning to Australia in late July or early August 1997 and wish to speak with anyone close to her during that time,” he said.

The inquest into Barter’s disappearance will resume on October 27.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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