New details emerge in 50-year-old murder case of Patricia ‘Susi’ Schmidt

Dec 20, 2021
Police have collected new evidence in the 50 year old murder case of Patricia Schmidt. Source: SA Police News.

South Australia (SA) Police have launched a fresh investigation into the 50-year-old unsolved murder of Seacliff teenager Patricia ‘Susi’ Schmidt after the collection of new DNA evidence from her clothing.

Schmidt was just 16 years old when she was allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered in the early hours of December 18, 1971, after completing her second shift at Burger King (now Hungry Jacks). The teenager, known as Susi, waited for 10 minutes for her father to pick her up from her night job before deciding to walk home. At 9.30 am the next day she was reported missing to police and at 6.30 pm she was found dead off a dirt track at Hallett Cove.

The evidence located at the scene indicated Schmidt had been sexually assaulted before being murdered. Detectives working on the case have followed hundreds of leads over the past 50 years but no arrests have been made.

On Friday, December 17, SA Police announced that over the last 18 months a DNA profile had been obtained and uploaded to the national database with no match so far. Scientists are now working to match the DNA profile to relatives who may already be on the database which will then create further investigation opportunities for detectives.

The process has resulted in a number of people being excluded as persons of interest and identified several possible familial matches to people on the database who may be related to the offenders.

South Australia Police Detective Superintendent Des Bray remains positive and hopeful the process will be successful in solving the decades-old murder case.

“The outstanding work of Forensic Science SA in the development of a DNA profile means we now have a better chance than ever before of solving this case for the family,” he said.

“The investigation to explore the possible familial DNA links that have been identified will take considerable time, however, if someone were to nominate a suspect we could have a result in weeks for the family.”

Bray believes “there is more than one person” involved and that the suspect “would be alive today”.

“The people who did this need to be held to account. If the people have passed (away), it’s still important for the Schmidt family to know who was responsible,” he said.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about Schmidt’s murder to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://crimestopperssa.com.au/.

Do you believe the new DNA evidence will be the key to solving the case?

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