Police Hope To Find Remains Of Missing Mother Belinda Peisley At Former Home
As a heavy transport driver, Mark Wearne has had a lot of time to think.
Twenty years ago, his daughter Belinda disappeared in the Blue Mountains. She was 19.
Despite several investigations, ground searches and a coronnial inquest, her body has never been found and police suspect she was murdered.
"It's always in the back of my mind," he told 10 News First.
They've been difficult years for Wearne, also a grandfather to Peisely's two sons. But he is optimistic for a "resolution" as police begin to dig up his daughter's former home, hoping to find her remains.
"I'm always hopeful. Where there is life, there is hope," he said.
Belinda Peisley was last seen by a nurse leaving the emergency department of the Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba on September 26, 1998. She'd been taken there by police after attending a house party, but left soon after.
Two days later, she was reported missing by Justin Kondek, her boyfriend at the time. But the case wasn't referred to the coroner for another eight years.
Two years before her suspected murder, Peisely used a large inheritance she had received to buy the home. At the time, she became heavily involved in the local drug community and was relying on welfare payments.
Grant Taylor, Detective Chief Inspector from the Homicide Squad, said police were now acting on a "series of bits of information" that when put together "sparked (their) interest" to return to the home.
"There have been searches here in the past, but not to the extent we're doing today," he said on Monday.
"If it's not the remains of Belinda, other pieces of forensic evidence that we did not have the technology to [find] back 20 years ago."
Homicide squad detectives will excavate the rear backyard and underneath the home over three days.
It follows the coronnial inquest in 2012 and 2013 that found Peisley likely died around the time of her disappearance but couldn't determine the cause or circumstances around her death.
The coroner identified six persons of interest who "may have been involved in, or have some personal knowledge of, the circumstances in which Belinda disappeared and/or died".
The inquest recommended Peisley's case be referred to the NSW Unsolved Homicide Unit.
Inspector Taylor said Peisley's case has never been closed.
"As with all unsolved homicide cases, we continually review the information we have in our possession in order to determine if we can further the investigation in any way," he said.
"We most certainly would love to get to the bottom of what happened. We’d love to find Belinda. We’d like to give her a proper burial if we can."
Her father remains hopeful.
"She lived her own life. I didn't approve of the scene she was travelling in, but she's entitled to live her life and that doesn't change the fact that she's my daughter," he said.
"If nothing eventuates from this particular situation, maybe somebody will come forward and information (will be) given to police that could perhaps lead to a resolution," he said.
Members of the public are being urged to come forward with any information that may assist police with the case.
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