Unsolved Marion Barter NSW, last heard from on July 31, 1997 in the UK

petedavo

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The Lady Vanishes: New police investigation into 22-year-old mystery of missing teacher Marion Barter

Alison Sandy and Bryan Seymour



Monday, 1 April 2019 7:47 am

The Lady Vanishes - Sunrise launch.

(Source: Sunrise)

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Sunrise were given a preview of the new 7NEWS podcast.

UPDATE: The first episode of 'The Lady Vanishes' is now live. You can listen and subscribe via acast, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

It's a case that's baffled NSW police for 22 years: the disappearance, without a trace, of Gold Coast teacher, Marion Barter.

Barter was 51 when her adult children last heard from her, via a series of patchy phone calls, after she had gone on a trip to the UK in 1997.

Police in Byron Bay - where her bank account was last used - now they've sent out new probes for information into Barter's whereabouts, conceding they've never been able to find even a single trace of her.

“I’ve done searches throughout Australia, in every state and every territory, for things like driver's licenses, births deaths and marriages, Medicare, Centrelink - a whole gamut of things we normally look for when people are missing," Byron Bay Detective Senior Constable Gary Sheehan said.

No trace

"And I can’t find a trace of Marion or Florabella, which she probably goes by now, anywhere in Australia.

"That’s not to say she’s not here. I just can’t find her."


Ms Barter, then 51, left on a trip to the United Kingdom and Europe in mid-1997 but was never seen by her family again.

She had been married three times, including to national sporting hero, Johnny Warren, and had two children.

'That’s not to say she’s not here. I just can’t find her.'

Her daughter Sally Leydon reported her missing in October that same year, after learning tens of thousands of dollars had been siphoned from her bank account by someone in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

“I rang the bank ... and said to the lady on the phone ‘my mum’s travelling overseas by herself, we haven’t heard from her in a while and ... we are concerned for her. Can you check to see if she’s using her account’?

“The standard answer was ‘I’m really sorry, I can’t tell you anything due to privacy’ but then she paused and asked ‘Did you say your mum’s overseas?’, which I said yes to.



“And then she said ‘Oh my god, money is coming out of her account in Byron Bay’.”

Never stopped searching

Leydon has never stopped searching for her mother and said the last time she heard her voice was shortly after Barter reached the UK at the end of July in 1997.

“She rang me. Chris (Sally’s now husband) and I had been skiing at Perisher the day before the (Thredbo landslide) disaster happened, and when we got home back to the Gold Coast, back in the days we had answering machines, the light was flashing," Leydon said.

"I pressed it and it was mum. It was the first time she rang me since she had been away."

The date was July 31, 1997. Her mother had heard about Thredbo and had wanted to make sure Leydon and Chris were okay.



"She called back later from a pay phone. She told me she was sitting at Tunbridge Wells in the UK," Leydon recalls.

"She was having scones and tea with some old ladies that she had just met and said she just wanted to touch base."

Leydon says her mother told her she had postponed a planned trip on the Orient Express because she was having such a lovely time exploring everywhere.

Phone drop outs

"But the phone kept dropping out. Then she would ring me back because she had more money, and I said ‘Where are you, I can call you back’," Leydon said.

"But she said ‘no I’m out at the moment having tea with these little old ladies and I just wanted to call’.

'The phone just went dead, and that was the last time I have spoken to her.'

“Back in the day, there was that delay when you were speaking to someone internationally, so she was definitely there (in the UK).

"She kept ringing back, like, five times, until she said her money ran out.

"I spoke to her about what I had been up to … and then the phone just went dead, and that was the last time I have spoken to her.”

Each year, 38,000 people are reported missing in Australia.

Lost souls

Most are found within a few hours or days.

There are about 1,600 people who have been gone for three months or longer.

Some were taken, possibly murdered, never to be seen again. Others fell ill and slipped away.

A few, the smallest group among these lost souls, choose to leave - their homes, partners, children, all traces of who the

It’s unclear whether Barter is part of the latter.

But authorities and her friends and family are baffled as to what’s become of her.

She is no longer on the missing person’s database, nor has she been located or sighted.

Sally said NSW Police had not done enough to find her mum and needed to at least put her back on the Missing Person’s database.

“If someone can prove to me she’s alive and well, I will accept it with open arms, and I can get on with my life,” she said.

The Lady Vanishes - Explained

Bryan Seymour has produced this short video to help explain the case.

WATCH: 7NEWS investigative reporter Bryan Seymour presents 'The Lady Vanishes - Explained'

(Source: 7NEWS)

Play Video

WATCH: 7NEWS investigative reporter Bryan Seymour presents 'The Lady Vanishes - Explained'

If you know something please e-mail our investigations unit:theladyvanishes@seven.com.au

The first episode of 'The Lady Vanishes' is now live. You can listen and subscribe viaacast, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

QLD NewsCrimeThe Lady Vanishes


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petedavo

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http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/MarionBarter.htm


Marion Barter, born 1945, has been missing from the Gold Coast area of QLD since 1997.

Marion had previously been a school teacher on the Gold Coast and was awarded the Teacher of Excellence award then came 2nd nationally in 1996.

Marion's daughter Sally has not spoken to her Mum since August 1st 1997. At that time Marion was on holiday in the UK on a year-long trip, she left Australia in June 1997. In October 1997, when she missed her son's birthday, her family began to be concerned for her and were unable to contact her. At that time they checked her bank accounts to learn her account had been emptied over a period of weeks in the Byron Bay area. She has not been heard from since this time and also missed her daughter's wedding that she had been looking forward to. Her Medicare card was used in Grafton NSW in August or September 1997 but never used again.

In February 2011 Police were able to let her family know Marion had changed her name and obtained a new passport. Her passport had her name as Florabella Natalia Marion Remikel, living in Luxembourg, Married and she had a visa to come to Australia for 3 days. That passport has never left the country.

Sally is bewildered as to why she suddenly ceased all contact with all her family and friends. She just needs to know her Mum is alive and she has had years of worry.

If you have any information about Marion Barter or Florabella Remikel please call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Tweed Heads Police.

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Lockyer24

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I was expecting Marion to be more of a bog standard character but the more I listen the more she seems to be possibly the type to disappear on her own accord.
 

Lockyer24

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Podcast has gone downhill I think.
Not enough solid leads and I think they will struggle to get much attention. Especially when a lot of people would assume she has created an identity and doesn't want to be found.


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MSB ROYS

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Podcast has gone downhill I think.
Not enough solid leads and I think they will struggle to get much attention. Especially when a lot of people would assume she has created an identity and doesn't want to be found.
A bit slow for my liking as well. I didn't like that episode on the 'cult', which seems to have been a total bust with no sighting of her by anyone ever there.
 

Lockyer24

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Old mate is an interesting lead. He certainly seemed to act strangely (offering to help via a genealogist was extremely bizarre) and we got a glimpse of his personality.

He said he had never been to Australia - first step would be to see if that is a lie.
 

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basashi

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My take on the whole thing is that initially everyone wanted it to fit into a single narrative. Either she deliberately disappeared OR she was bumped off or whatever. But my guess is that it is a combo of the two. I think she was drawn into a romance scam and enticed to create her own disappearance, culminating in her meeting a not very nice fate. As soon as the cops saw some signs of planning they assumed it was a deliberate disappearance and gave up.

Now it is a month since they produced anything for this podcast and they are letting the interest fade away to nothing.

A few possibilities:
- their aim was to restart the police investigation and they have gotten what they wanted
- the journalists have come to the belief that they have been misled to some degree and have lost interest (starting with the bank mistake)
- they are fighting with the cops about access to information in the restarted investigation
- they have found something serious and are digesting it
 

Bumpswithagrin

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My take on the whole thing is that initially everyone wanted it to fit into a single narrative. Either she deliberately disappeared OR she was bumped off or whatever. But my guess is that it is a combo of the two. I think she was drawn into a romance scam and enticed to create her own disappearance, culminating in her meeting a not very nice fate. As soon as the cops saw some signs of planning they assumed it was a deliberate disappearance and gave up.
As I listened to the podcast I changed my mind several times about what happened. At first I thought she was a prime candidate to get sucked into some kind of romance fraud and then was killed like your theory. However, another theory I have is that it's something to do with The Southport School and the pedophilia that went on there. She may have been put into witness protection or was made to 'disappear' by the pedophile ring people. She definitely seemed to be scared of something or someone before she left (IMO).

It's a very intriguing case, so many possibilities in a way :think:

Now it is a month since they produced anything for this podcast and they are letting the interest fade away to nothing.
I saw a post from Sally on FB that she was recording another episode of the podcast so hopefully an update is not far away.

A few possibilities:
- their aim was to restart the police investigation and they have gotten what they wanted
- the journalists have come to the belief that they have been misled to some degree and have lost interest (starting with the bank mistake)
- they are fighting with the cops about access to information in the restarted investigation
- they have found something serious and are digesting it
You would think the cops would have at least investigated the man named Remakel in Luxembourg. I have a strong feeling the police are hiding some information, either that or they are incredibly incompetent!
 

Bumpswithagrin

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New episode of the podcast is up:


Interesting :think: Definitely think M Remakel is somehow involved.
 
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basashi

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Didn't appreciate including something from psychics on the podcast. A missing person is a serious matter and shouldn't be given such infantile treatment.

As expected, there is an actual police investigation now and they will not drip feed news to the journos.
 

FR0GGY

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Started listening a few days ago agree it got slow at points.
Thought their Luxembourg trip, ambush and phone calls were a bit cringey.
Hes the only F Ramekel they can find so they automatically assume it’s him.
What if the actual one had died?

the incoming passenger card they refer to, can’t they check to see if it’s her hand writing, it must still be around given they know what’s on it and I’m guessing it wasn’t put on computer in 1997?
Sally has made reference to her post cards definitely being Marion’s hand writing.
 

Bumpswithagrin

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Started listening a few days ago agree it got slow at points.
Thought their Luxembourg trip, ambush and phone calls were a bit cringey.
Hes the only F Ramekel they can find so they automatically assume it’s him.
What if the actual one had died?

the incoming passenger card they refer to, can’t they check to see if it’s her hand writing, it must still be around given they know what’s on it and I’m guessing it wasn’t put on computer in 1997?
Sally has made reference to her post cards definitely being Marion’s hand writing.
Also the flight passenger lists and so on. Sally has mentioned that a few times, don't know why the police don't check those. Really seems like the police are dragging their feet on this one. Given the time that has elapsed I'm getting less confident they will get any answers.
 

Bumpswithagrin

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There is a new episode out called 'Progress'. I've had a listen but it doesn't seem like they are making much progress to me. The reporters had another crack at M Remakel but he still won't tell them anything.
 

The King!

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Ramakel does string them along a bit which suggests he may have some info

But on the other hand it might be just because he is annoyed they harassed him

I would love them to find her mum as sally seems like a lovely person

But what we here on the podcast to me feels like they have no idea where to look more they hope the police make her a missing person, offer a reward

But will that make a difference? Obviously got to try but I worry it won’t ever be solved
 

Bumpswithagrin

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Ramakel does string them along a bit which suggests he may have some info
Yeah, I don't understand that. If you don't want to talk to them a polite 'no comment', hang up the phone and you're done, a bit like the old lady that used to teach with Marion that they finally tracked down. I can understand why people wouldn't want to talk to the media or a stranger, if someone contacted me out of the blue about a matter I knew nothing about I would not be saying anything either. Remakel's behavior seems odd to me.
 

The King!

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Yeah, I don't understand that. If you don't want to talk to them a polite 'no comment', hang up the phone and you're done, a bit like the old lady that used to teach with Marion that they finally tracked down. I can understand why people wouldn't want to talk to the media or a stranger, if someone contacted me out of the blue about a matter I knew nothing about I would not be saying anything either. Remakel's behavior seems odd to me.

yeah he could just say I know nothing about this ad, i know nothing About marion

asking for sallies info makes it seem like he has something

but i also wonder if he is just that pissed off about the initial contact/harrassment in his mind

the surname link though is hard to ignore
 

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