Advertisement

Dramatic twist in 40-year murder mystery

An elderly man has been charged with the murder of Debra Campbell, pictured, who disappeared from her Victoria home almost four decades ago. Picture: Victoria Police
An elderly man has been charged with the murder of Debra Campbell, pictured, who disappeared from her Victoria home almost four decades ago. Picture: Victoria Police

An elderly man has been charged with the murder of an RAAF member who disappeared from her Victoria home almost four decades ago.

Debra Campbell vanished from her home in Melbourne’s inner-south on February 25, 1984, after a disagreement with her fiance.

Ms Campbell’s mother, Jean, reported the 21-year-old missing to police when she failed to report to duty the following Monday.

In a major breakthrough, police revealed on Wednesday a 65-year-old man had been charged in NSW with Ms Campbell’s murder.

Debra Campbell, 21, disappeared from the streets of Melbourne’s inner-south nearly 40 years ago. Picture: Victoria Police.
Debra Campbell, 21, disappeared from the streets of Melbourne’s inner-south nearly 40 years ago. Picture: Victoria Police.

The man, from Cardiff South, was arrested at the port town near Newcastle in a joint operation involving NSW and Victorian officers.

He appeared before Belmont Local Court on Wednesday, and will face court again on Friday for an application to extradite him to Victoria.

The arrest follows a public appeal by police in April of this year for information in relation to Ms Campbell’s disappearance.

That same month, police from NSW and Victoria executed a search warrant and spoke to a 65-year-old Cardiff South man.

Ms Campbell was last seen leaving her home on High St, Windsor, on the night of February 25 1984. Picture: Victoria Police.
Ms Campbell was last seen leaving her home on High St, Windsor, on the night of February 25 1984. Picture: Victoria Police.
Debra’s mother, Jean, said she was “desperately hopeful” a fresh investigation could shed light on her daughter’s disappearance. Picture: Victoria Police.
Debra’s mother, Jean, said she was “desperately hopeful” a fresh investigation could shed light on her daughter’s disappearance. Picture: Victoria Police.

The warrant came after a review of the case by Victoria’s Missing Person Squad detectives last year, which lead to fresh leads.

Ms Campbell’s disappearance had been investigated by the air force, of which her fiance was also a member at the time.

Her mother, Jean, said in April she remained “desperately hopeful” a reinvestigation could bring answers to the family.

A coronial inquest held into Ms Campbell’s disappearance in 1998 found that she was likely to be deceased.

The inquest was unable, though, to determine the circumstances of Ms Campbell’s death.