Keli Lane, who grew up in the beachside suburb of Manly, northern Sydney, gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Tegan Lane in September 1996 when she was 21 years old.
Two days after she was born, Tegan disappeared. And, as far as police know, no one has seen her since.
Just 20 kilometres further north of Manly is a suburb called Bayview.
In the 1980s, Chris Dawson lived there with his wife, Lyn Dawson, and their two daughters.
Then, one day, in January 1982, Lyn Dawson disappeared. And, as far as police know, no one has seen her since.
Two separate coroners determined that Lyn had been murdered by a “known person” and recommended that charges be laid. Despite such recommendations, the then NSW DPP Nicholas Cowdery chose not to prosecute.
That was in 2001, and again in 2003.
The question about whether or not Lyn’s husband, Chris Dawson, should have gone to trial for the murder of his wife was the subject of recent Australian podcast, The Teacher’s Pet, led by investigative journalist Hedley Thomas.
In 2008, five years after the probable murder of Lyn Dawson had come across NSW DPP Cowdery’s desk, the same man was asked for legal advice on a very different case.
The whereabouts of Tegan Lane had been under police investigation for more than eight years. NSW Coroner John Abernethy had determined that he was “comfortably satisfied that Tegan Lane is in fact deceased,” though acknowledged the possibility that she might be alive somewhere.
The Unsolved Homicide Squad was uncertain if they had enough evidence to prosecute.
Just like in the case of Lyn Dawson, there was no body.
Just like in the case of Lyn Dawson, there was no forensic evidence.
Just like in the case of Lyn Dawson, there were no witnesses.