Related coverage: Maureen Braddy's younger sister underwent hypnosis, inquest told
A BENDIGO man suspected of murdering his teenage daughter and her boyfriend has told police the pair are still alive and were taken as slaves, as part of a government cover-up.
Maureen Braddy, then 16, and Allan Whyte, 17, were last seen at a Bendigo YMCA dance hall in November 1968.
Maureen’s father Stan Braddy has been interviewed as the sole suspect in the case that has gone unsolved for more than 44 years, a coronial inquest has heard.
Detective Sergeant Allan Birch, of the homicide squad, said Mr Braddy was suspected to have been responsible for their unlawful killing.
Detective Sergeant Birch said Mr Braddy had told police in an interview last year that the couple were abducted as part of a “slavery trade arrangement”.
According to Mr Braddy, the night the teenagers disappeared, they went to the Sandhurst Club hotel, instead of a dance, and were taken by a captor who “said he wanted a son, and wanted a slave”.
Mr Braddy had claimed both were still alive but refused to reveal their whereabouts, saying they had children, were happy and did not want their lives interfered with.
The inquest heard Mr Braddy had told police in an official statement that a “politician” had rung his house and told his wife that the couple were OK and to stay away.
Mr Braddy told police that the politician said: “The government’s involved and it’s bigger than you. Stay away.”
He had refused a police request to name the politician.
Detective Sergeant Birch told the inquest this version of events was “wholly incredible”.
He said there was “no other reasonable hypothesis” other than that Mr Braddy was involved in the couple’s disappearance.
Mr Braddy’s version of events caused increased suspicion about his involvement, he said.
Mr Braddy, 82, lives in Strathfieldsaye, and has been subject to two interviews with police in the past year.
Detective Sergeant Birch said there were difficulties in gaining enough evidence to pursue the homicide investigation further.
“There is simply a lack of evidence. We don’t have the bodies and don’t have eyewitness accounts or strong circumstantial evidence,” he said.
Detective Sergeant Birch said he did not believe the pair were still alive, and said he believed Mr Braddy was “involved in or responsible for the unlawful killing of Allan and Maureen”.
The coronial inquest heard from Lyn Ireland, Maureen Braddy’s younger sister, that she was confident she saw her father the night Maureen and Allan disappeared.
Returning to the witness stand yesterday, Ms Ireland stood by her version of events.
“I know what I saw,” she said.
“It was a memory I didn’t want to face for years.”
The coronial inquest will resume today.
Mr Braddy – who was not present at the inquest yesterday – is set to give evidence on Wednesday.