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In late 2015, local Canberra teenager Kathleen Bautista disappeared with no signs of where she had gone.
On the morning of September 5, 2015, Kathleen’s parents, Ronnie and Rowena, received this chilling message from their daughter: “I’m sorry forever”, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, which has published new details from the case.
At 19 years old, she was known amongst friends and family for being a social girl. However a year before she vanished, she was diagnosed with clinical depression and had been known to have spoken about self-harm, of course making the final text even more alarming. She had resorted to drugs and alcohol in the past as a coping mechanism for her issues with mental health.
Almost immediately after being sent the text message, Kathleen’s parents filed a missing person’s report.
When Detective Sergeant John Giles was asked to take part in the investigation, he was especially alarmed that there had been no trace of Kathleen for days – no use of her banks accounts, social media platforms or mobile phone.
With little to go on, search and rescue teams began looking for the teen in dense, remote bushland in Canberra.
But after six days of searching and minimal signs that Kathleen was still alive, hope began to wane amongst the rescue team and there were some suggestions that at this point, they may just be looking for a body.
On the seventh day, a black Hyundai was found upturned and completely destructed in a gully - the car was indeed Kathleen's. However, officials were shocked to find the car empty.