Reward increased for information on ‘bizzare’ Marion Barter disappearance

Apr 27, 2022

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

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

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 Marion 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 Sydney on Monday 21 June 2021 in order to determine the cause of her disappearance and whether she is still alive. The inquest revealed that NSW Police investigators have identified and spoken with a secret lover of Barter’s whom she had been seeing shortly before she disappeared.

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.

Marion’s daughter, Sally Leydon, said the family has never given up on their quest for answers as to their mother’s disappearance.

“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.”

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

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