Melissa Hunt Death: Husband Breaks 25 Year Silence In Murder Mystery
Melissa Hunt's body was found dumped in a remote dam 25 years ago but her killer has never been found.
Now her husband Scott Hunt has spoken exclusively to The Sunday Project for the first time since his wife's murder.
When asked by Hamish Macdonald if he wanted to clear his name, Scott said he found speculation about his role in Melissa's murder unfair. He said he's offered police DNA, however, claims they weren't interested in a sample.
"Why should I have to answer that question? Why should I `have to answer that question? This is what the police are for" Scott said.
"Well, I refuse to answer that question, I find it insulting."
Melissa Hunt, 22, was discovered by a group of four-wheel drivers near Newcastle on the NSW mid-north coast on ANZAC Day 1994. She was found after being heavily beaten around the head and had an estimated 11 skull fractures on her face.
Despite years of police investigation and an inquest in 1998, no one has even been charged with Melissa's murder. Scott Hunt and Melissa's ex-boyfriend Matthew Henderson have been questioned by police in relation to her death but have always insisted they are innocent of any crime.
Now, the case is being formally reviewed by the Unsolved Homicide Squad.
Melissa and Scott had a "whirlwind" romance after they met in 1993. After just one week of dating, the pair moved in together and two months later Melissa proposed to Scott.
Just a few days later they were married.
"She was very attractive, and I didn’t know what she’d see in someone like me," Scott exclusively told The Sunday Project.
Scott described how Melissa could be happy and bubbly one minute, and sad and depressed the next "for no reason at all".
Just six weeks after his wedding to Melissa the pair had a fight. After a few days away from their home, Melissa returned to pack her bags. She left the home, for what would be the last time.
It's believed Melissa visited Matthew Henderson the day after leaving her husband but didn't stay long. Henderson told police she left his home at about 1am on April 18, 1994 after he refused to cuddle her.
That was the last confirmed time Melissa was seen alive.
Melissa's brother Peter Hallett and sister Jenny Marshman revealed to The Sunday Project that their sister was a troubled young person.
"She was a troubled young woman trying to make a go of it and someone did a horrific thing to her," Peter said.
Melissa was adopted by the Hallett family when she was just seven-weeks-old. She was loved by her family but Melissa was often teased by other children because she was adopted.
"Kids started to say things like well they aren’t your real parents, she became very self-conscious about being adopted," Jenny said.
Then, Melissa started going places without telling her parents.
"...at the end of year 10 she just said I’m going on a trip with some friends, disappeared for three or four weeks ... not long after she got back, she was pregnant with her first child," Jenny said.
Melissa started exhibiting mysterious behaviour, becoming more and more distant from her parents and siblings. She had a second child, started taking drugs and became a sex worker. It was after all this that she met Scott.
Peter Hallett believes the investigation into Melissa's death might not have been a priority for police at the time because of the kind of lifestyle she lived.
"It’s easy to just pigeonhole someone, that’s the kind of life they live, that’s naturally the kind of death they are going to die, it’s not like that all, we saw her life, we know what these were things we were battling, she was in a fight for her life," Peter told The Sunday Project.
Now Melissa's family is fighting for answers.
"We have to be ruthless if we want answers, what we’ve done hasn’t worked in getting answers, we need to keep this in the light, pushing down dark secrets, have them opened up," Peter said.
The Sunday Project was unable to contact Matthew Henderson for comment on this story.
If you believe you have information on this case, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The Sunday Project is on the 10 Network every Sunday at 6.30pm.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org