AN old well in Vinton Street, California Gully, could hold the vital evidence in an unsolved murder mystery.
The well sits beneath the loungeroom extension of a weatherboard home. It was paved over in the early 1970s.
Homicide detectives believe it could be the burial site of teenagers Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte, who disappeared in November 1968.
A coronial inquest into the teenagers’ disappearance heard yesterday that detectives had pursued suggestions Maureen’s father Stan Braddy had dumped their bodies in the well beneath the family’s home.
Detective Sergeant Allan Birch said the well could be inspected, but that a concrete slab and structure of an existing house would first have to be removed.
“A number of locations identified as possible burial sites, from mine shafts, to wells, could be looked at,” he said.
“The expenditure and resources involved in that investigation are far too large for us to carry out.”
Maureen’s older sister, Suzanne Diss, told police she came home from work two days after Maureen went missing and found her father, Stan, hunched over the well at their home with two rolls of carpet beside him.
The mine was still open at the time and her father was peering in, she said.
Recalling the incident, Mrs Diss expanded on her statement, saying it was “highly suspicious”.
“It was the weirdest look I had ever seen on my father’s face... it was like a little boy getting caught out.”
Mrs Diss said that on the night of the disappearance, her father took her boyfriend Stuart aside and said to stay out late at a dance and not worry about what time they got home.
She said that when she arrived home just after 2am she was surprised not to find Maureen asleep in the bedroom they shared.
The next morning when she told her parents Maureen had not come home, she said they weren’t “overly concerned”.
Detective Sergeant Birch said if the well was more accessible the investigation would be “viewed in an entirely different light”.
He said huge personnel costs and budget restrictions had prevented detectives from digging it up.