Another Woman Stalked Just Minutes Before Janine Went Missing
Janine Vaughan has been missing for nearly 18 years.
The 31-year-old left a nightclub in Bathurst at 3.50 am on December 7, 2001, and got into a bright red sedan on Keppel Street just outside.
She hasn't been seen since. Her body has never been found.
Police told media on Friday the same red car had been seen stalking a woman about a kilometre away from Keppel Street, just 10 minutes before Janine was picked up.
"We are confident that it’s the same car and by extension, the same driver," Commander of the Homicide Squad in NSW Scott Cook said on Friday.
"We are really focused on that car, we are going right back to the time when she disappeared so we can exhaust that."
Police have long treated Janine's disappearance as suspicious. In 2013 Strike Force Toko II was established to re-investigate her case, including her probable murder.
The red car was seized by police 10 years ago. Now, they are applying new DNA testing techniques to find Janine's DNA inside the vehicle so they can link it to her murder.
Cook said police have long believed a local from Bathurst was involved in Janine's disappearance and has urged them to come forward. As an incentive, NSW Police announced a $1 million reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Janine's disappearance.
"We think a local was involved. A local in Bathhurst in 2001. We think there are people in Bathurst who have been holding onto secrets for some time, so I am hopeful this $1 million that is on the table will help those people to come forward," Cook said.
"If you have any concept of morality, come forward. But I don't expect that because crooks don’t do that. People who murder people need to be brought to justice."
Janine's siblings Kylie and Adam and father Len joined police in their public appeal.
"It has been quite difficult as a family to continue on with our lives and know things don’t stop, time doesn’t stop, life doesn't stop," Kylie said.
"It’s been hard for us ... to hear this come out today, it’s pretty big news and we are very excited."
Adam fought back tears as he described his family's daily trauma following Janine's murder.
"I hope that information given to police 18 years ago didn’t get missed and we haven't gone through this shit for all this time when it could have been solved," Adam said.
"That’s where we have gone back to today. The same car, the same woman on the street. Her family got lucky. My family lost out," he said.
In 2009, a NSW coroner ruled Janine was murdered, however, said the circumstances surrounding her death remain a mystery.
Police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org