Janine Vaughan's family say they will not stop their search for truth

NEVER GIVING UP: Adam Vaughan with his sister Kylie Spelde, standing where their sister Janine Vaughan vanished almost 17 years ago. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK
NEVER GIVING UP: Adam Vaughan with his sister Kylie Spelde, standing where their sister Janine Vaughan vanished almost 17 years ago. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

THE family of missing Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan has vowed they will never give up searching for her, but said the time has come for anyone with information about Janine’s murder to come forward.

They were in Bathurst on Wednesday meeting people who claim to know what happened to Ms Vaughan but are unwilling to go to police.

What happened to Ms Vaughan has been the subject of two police investigations, an inquest and a Police Integrity Commission hearing amidst allegations of police misconduct, yet her family is no closer to finding out the truth about her disappearance.

Ms Vaughan was last seen alive leaving the Tavern Hotel in George Street early on December 7, 2001.

She had misplaced her purse and was crossing the road, heading towards the Oxford, when a medium size red car pulled up.

The driver offered her a lift, she got in and has not been seen again.

Ms Vaughan’s sister, Kylie Spelde, said the family had watched grainy CCTV footage of her final movements over and over again in the hope they might see something that has been missed.

“She’s just there and I wish I could just pull her back [before walking across the street and getting into the car],” Ms Spelde said.

“She doesn’t deserve to be buried in a gutter somewhere.”

Ms Spelde said the family was trying to move on but had found it impossible.

She said the family really needed people’s support and if they knew something, to come forward.

One of the hardest things to come to terms with for the family was how Ms Vaughan’s case was investigated, and the problems it incurred from the start.

They said it makes it hard to trust the police.

“There was a knife handed in to police [after Ms Vaughan’s disappearance] with blood and hair, but it was destroyed before it could be analysed,” Ms Spelde said.

“Same with the diary [Ms Vaughan’s work diary]. It had crucial information in it about the person who Janine felt was harassing her. 

“Her boss at the time got her to document everything about a person walking past.

“The police picked it up and it disappeared. It makes it quite difficult.

“I don’t have the answers but I can’t sit on my hands and do nothing.”

This week the family appealed for people to come forward with information and met up with a number of people in Bathurst on Wednesday.

They still want people who know anything to make contact, but said they also need people to have the courage to stand by their word and make a statement to police.

Ms Vaughan’s brother Adam said he understood people were scared.

“Trust us, no one is more scared of the truth than us,” he said.

Anyone wishing to speak with the Vaughan family can contact Kylie Spelde via Facebook messenger or contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be left anonymously with CrimeStoppers.