Meni Caroutas reveals why he started true crime podcast The Missing

When I started The Missing I had two unwavering goals. One was to keep missing persons cases alive in the public domain and two, to encourage listeners who knew something to come forward and contact authorities, so that these cases could be solved and the families of missing people would get the answers they so desperately crave, find out what happened to their loved one and, in a perfect world, have them return home.

Currently there are more than 2,600 long term missing people in Australia. A long term missing person is someone who has been missing for more than 3 months. It’s estimated that for every one person who goes missing, 12 other people are affected.

Do the maths and it equates to a staggering 30,000 plus people impacted by someone who has gone missing.

I describe it as a silent crisis, and behind this number are families enduring unimaginable heartbreak

Cold cases are never closed, they’re just isn’t any new surfacing evidence or leads for police to follow and propel the case forward.

Sometimes technology moves forward, as in the case of DNA, and authorities can conduct tests they couldn’t in the past. But overwhelmingly it is members of the public coming forward that reignite these cases, and that is what happened in our last series.

In the case of Gordana Kotevski police say they received credible information from a listener about Gordana’s disappearance, which they are now following up.

Echoes of an Abduction – The Missing Australia

Another listener to this podcast came forward and contacted New South Wales Police Strikeforce Arapaima, which is investigating not only Gordana’s case but also the disappearance of other young girls from around the Newcastle area.

Subsequently, a man was arrested and charged with a number of offences, including attempting to abduct her at knifepoint while she waited at a bus stop back in 1980.

The alleged incident occurred in the Gateshead area when the victim was 16 years old.

Yet another listener contacted me directly to tell me that she was stalked by two men in a vehicle similar to the one witnesses told police Gordana was thrown into. In the first episode of our new season I will examine if the two cases are linked, shedding new light on the investigation.

THE MISSING AUSTRALIA: LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

In the story of the dead baby found in the mail, posted from Melbourne to Darwin in 1965, I said that I believed the package which was addressed to a ‘J Anderson’.

After the release of our podcast, a woman came forward to express her belief that the deceased baby could be her brother. As a result, Northern Territory police took a statement from the woman and obtained a sample of her DNA. With a possible family link established, police applied to the deputy coroner to exhume the baby’s body, a request that had been denied before. On November 22 last year, authorities exhumed the baby’s body from a Darwin cemetery to try and extract his DNA.

Following the release of the Debbie Ashby episode, a listener reached out to me with crucial information. He believes Debbie was living around Brisbane about 12 years ago, and recalls seeing her waiting outside a shopping centre. He told me she was using the name ‘Marie’ which happens to be Debbie’s middle name. I have passed this information onto Debbie’s mother, Mary, who then shared it with police, bringing us one step closer to uncovering the truth about Debbie’s disappearance.

I want to express gratitude to all our listeners who have come forward with information about these cases. Your bravery and dedication are making a real difference. And to anyone out there who may have information about a missing person, remember, someone, somewhere, knows something!

Your tip could be the key to solving a mystery and bringing closure to a grieving family.

SEND YOUR TIPS AND QUESTIONS TO MENI CAROUTAS HERE

Originally published as Meni Caroutas reveals why he started The Missing podcast

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