70s missing person cases in spotlight

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Muttonbird Island.
Camera IconMuttonbird Island. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The State Coroner is set to probe three long-term missing person cases from fishing incidents in Albany dating back more than four decades.

The three Albany cases, which occurred between 1973 and 1975 are among a number of long-term cases across the State to which the Coroner’s Court is trying to bring closure after more than 40 years.

This week the Coroner’s Court sought help from the public to gain information which could assist inquiries into the unsolved cases being reviewed by the coroner.

A public inquest must be held to determine if the men are dead, having been deemed missing and never found.

Deputy State Coroner Evelyn Vicker has started investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Cranbrook man Malcolm Andrew Carpenter, 28, who slipped off rocks while fishing at Mutton Bird Island in May, 1975.

Mr Carpenter’s father and brother watched him fall into the water and, despite a land, air and sea search, no trace of him was ever found.

The Albany Advertiser reported at the time Mr Carpenter’s father and brother had to drive to the police station to raise the alarm.

A coronial inquiry could be held later this year.

Other cases to be investigated include that of fisherman Derrick Nunn, who went missing in October, 1973, while fishing at Cape Vancouver near Two Peoples Bay, and Joseph Leon Patterson, who was last seen onboard his fishing boat in the Emu Point boat pen moorings in July, 1974.

The Coroner’s Court urges anyone with information regarding the three cases to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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