The man accused of abducting and murdering Louise Bell in 1983 has left behind a trail of evidence over the past three decades, the prosecution has told the Supreme Court.
The 10-year-old was taken from her Hackham West bedroom in January 1983 and her body has never been found.
Dieter Pfennig is on trial after being accused of her murder.
DNA found on the girl’s pyjama top, which was left on a neighbour’s front yard shortly after her disappearance, allegedly matched to Pfennig when it was tested decades later.
During her closing address to Justice Michael David, prosecutor Sandi McDonald said the case against Pfennig amounted to a lot more than the DNA evidence.
“Three decades ago Louise Bell was taken from the bedroom in the middle of the night in circumstances surrounded by mystery,” she said.
Dieter Pfennig, 1990
"What no one knew back then was that from this very moment this person started to leave a trail behind, a trail that continued over three decades.
"That trail was in how he behaved, what he did, what he said and what he left behind him."
Ms McDonald said all the evidence on the prosecution case pointed to Pfennig.
"All of these pieces together, layer upon layer, led to the person who had taken her and that person, of course we say, is Dieter Pfennig."
'Killer taunted police'
She said the killer had taunted police by leading them to evidence through phone calls he made to a neighbour.
Ms McDonald said it may remain a mystery how Louise was taken from her bedroom where her sister was also sleeping with her parents nearby.
"It really is a question that still puzzles anyone who has any involvement in this case; how the abductor, how the man who killed Louise Bell, got her out of the bedroom window," she said.
"At the end of the day, your Honour might well, in fact it's likely, arrive at the point where you just don't know how it occurred."
She said someone succeeded in removing Louise through the bedroom window and "the only logical inference" was that it was that person who murdered her.
Ms McDonald said given the child weighed 30 to 40 kilograms, it would have been "no mean feat for anyone, even a strong man like the accused was then, to get into that room and get that child out physically without waking the sister up".
"The far more likely scenario is she was enticed out," Ms McDonald said.
"Far more likely that she has gone with someone she knows, someone she recognised, a Dad, a teacher, than a stranger."
The court heard Pfennig, who was then a teacher, knew Louise and his daughter played basketball together.
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Ms McDonald said there was evidence Pfennig frequently walked the streets in the dark and knew there was no one else around.
"He could take Louise and carry her down the street with no one seeing or hearing him.
"Yes, it is brazen and audacious but what is there about this crime that isn't?
"To take a child in the first place with the parents in the next bedroom, to taunt the police through a third party phone call, to lay a trail of her belongings, is all incredibly audacious."
Accused wanted to 're-live' case, prosecution says
Ms McDonald said there was evidence Pfennig had talked to many people about the case and had demonstrated an "unusual interest" in the matter and appeared "talking it up, re-living it".
"He clearly wanted to talk about Louise Bell," she said.
She said it was an important piece of evidence that Pfennig had allegedly told a colleague he was a suspect in the case, before he was a suspect.
"Why on earth would a father, teacher, a family man be telling his colleague and friend that he was a suspect in the abduction and murder of a little girl when he's not?" Ms McDonald said.
"It makes no sense unless he's getting some sort of perverse pleasure drawing attention to himself, continuing to talk about it.
"That was a concession in 1983. Thirty years later the DNA profile from the pyjama top matches the accused, it matches the DNA of a man who was telling a colleague in a staffroom that he was a suspect."
Closing addresses are scheduled to run for several days.
Justice David will then retire to consider his verdict, which he will deliver at a later date.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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