New claims have emerged in the decades-long mystery surrounding the 1970 disappearance of Cheryl Grimmer, the revelations injecting a fresh wave of hope into the investigation.
On the morning of January 12, 1970, Cheryl Gene Grimmer, aged three at the time, disappeared from outside shower blocks at Fairy Meadow in Illawarra, New South Wales.
The Grimmer family had been enjoying a day at the beach leading up to the disappearance. When the weather took a turn for the worst, the family decided it was time to go home. The children went to the shower block together while Cheryl’s mother, Carole, packed up their belongings.
Cheryl’s brother, Ricky, later alerted Carole that Cheryl had not emerged from the shower blocks. She followed Ricky back to the shower blocks to find that her daughter had disappeared.
Witnesses claimed that a man was seen holding Cheryl while she drank from a water fountain and then ran off with her wrapped up in a towel. It was also claimed that she was spotted in a white vehicle. Cheryl’s disappearance triggered a massive manhunt. Early on in the investigation, the New South Wales police announced that they were working on four theories regarding Cheryl’s whereabouts which included; she was hiding and had fallen asleep, she wandered into the ocean and was carried away by the waves, she had fallen into a waterway, and finally that she had been kidnapped.
Despite extensive searches and multiple reward offers, Cheryl has never been found.
Now decades since her disappearance, a recent episode of the BBC’s true crime podcast Fairy Meadow has revealed a gripping revelation with an anonymous witness providing a new account of a teenage male emerging from the female changing rooms at the beach.
“I heard this screaming of the kid. That’s what caught my ear,” the witness revealed.
“What was that shrieking sound? I turned around and that’s what I saw.
“When I glanced back at the toilet block, the profile of the guy was sort of full-stride with this baby in his arm, just kind of screaming and yelling at his hip, like low on his hip.”
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The potential eyewitness further shared insights into the teenager’s appearance, disclosing to the podcast that the young individual had a medium-dark hair color, a neatly trimmed back and sides hairstyle, and was average build.
Having recently arrived in Australia from Eastern Europe and still grappling with the English language, the witness shared with the BBC that he did not report what he saw to the police at the time. His reason being that he hadn’t initially realised a child had been abducted.
“We had only been in the country for three or four weeks. We didn’t have a TV and we never read the newspapers at that time. We were oblivious to what was really going on,” he said.
“It wasn’t even on my radar that it was such an important thing that I saw.”
Taking these claims very seriously, the New South Wales Police have reportedly contacted the man in the last few days.