grey photo of fairy meadow beach

Family Still Searching For Justice On Australia’s ‘Coldest Case’

Three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer vanished from Fairy Meadow Beach, New South Wales in 1970. Today, Cheryl’s family are determined to get her case back into court.

In June, the NSW government received a request from Cheryl’s family to re-examine her case, including a key piece of evidence that was deemed inadmissible by the former Attorney General.

Investigators Frank Sanvitale and Damian Loone were tasked with revisiting the cold case in 2016, and spoke on a special episode of Crime Insiders Detectives about what they found:

16 months after Cheryl’s disappearance, a 17-year-old male came forward to police and admitted to murdering her.

Police interviewed the suspect, but believed his confession was a hoax. Frank described listening to the recording,

“He spoke without stopping, everything just flowed on. He just spat it all out,”

“He came up with this confession sixteen months later, and he remembers every detail. You ask anyone else on that beach to come up with details like this guy had. How does he remember all that? The towel, the colour of her costume, all this evidence that was true.”

The recording is a key piece of evidence in the case, but in 2019 the court deemed it unusable as the accused was underage and not accompanied by a parent, adult or lawyer.

The Grimmer family continue to reach out for witnesses and campaign to have the case re-opened.

To hear more about the case, listen to the 8-part BBC podcast series:

Delve into more episodes like these by downloading the free LiSTNR app, the home of crime podcasts.