THE FAMILIES of two teenagers who went missing in 1968 are understood to be unconvinced a new picture depicts their loved ones.
Relatives of Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte both saw the picture on Tuesday, before the missing person squad revealed the picture to the media.
Detective Acting Inspector Tony Combridge said any lead that may shed light on what could have happened to them needed to be investigated.
"To the layperson, they do look similar to the people we are investigating," the Missing Persons Squad member said.
The families are understood to be supportive of the latest police push to find answers using the photo.
Only a handful of pictures were taken of Maureen and Allan in the 1960s, Detective Acting Inspector Combridge said.
"Whilst they were simpler times back then, they were also probably harder times. The concept that you would be taking hundreds of photos like we probably do of our kids, that was not a commonplace thing in the late 60s," he said.
The couple in the picture bear enough of a resemblance to Maureen and Allan that facial recognition experts' analysis have come back inconclusive.
The photo was brought to police by a member of the public after seeing media coverage about the cold case.
Detective Acting Inspector Combridge said anyone who could provide information one way or the other was urged to get in touch, especially those from the Swan Hill area, where the two people in the photo appear to have told people they were from.
The photo appears to have been taken at a Geelong boarding house the same year Maureen and Allan vanished.
The boarding house no longer exists. Police are yet to confirm its exact address but do believe it was on Aberdeen Street.
Another resident of the boarding house took the photo.
"The case is quite significant in the amount of time that has passed since Allan and Maureen were last seen," Detective Acting Inspector said.
"It's a strong indication of the fact that, with these cases, we don't give up. If new information is brought to us we will investigate it.
"We will take it as far as we can to try to get answers both for the community and the families."
Decades of investigations by police, coroners and family members have so far failed to discover what happened to Maureen and Allan.
Police have never ruled out murder and have never charged anyone.
There has never been any conclusive evidence to suggest they did run away, or answer questions about why they would not have come forward as police and family members appealed for public information in the many decades that followed.
Witnesses told a past coronial enquiry they suspected bodies might have been secreted down a well or mine shaft.
A PHOTO of a couple resembling missing Bendigo teens Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte has been released by police.
Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte, then aged 16 and 17 respectively, were last seen leaving a YMCA dance on Mundy Street on 23 November, 1968.
The teenagers have never been found despite an extensive investigation by local detectives and the Missing Persons Squad.
The photo came from a member of the public who saw reports about the 1968 disappearance in the media in 2019. They believed the photograph may have some relevance to the investigation.
Investigators were told the photograph was taken at a boarding house in Aberdeen Street, Geelong, in 1968. It shows two young people who fit the description of the missing pair.
On the back of the photograph is written: "Neil and Kaye. Kaye is asleep on her feet, Neil is supporting her with his elbow."
It's also believed the pair told the photographer at the time they were from the Swan Hill area.
Victoria Police and the Australian Federal police have conducted specialist forensic analysis on the photo in an effort to determine if the pictured couple are Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte.
The tests were inconclusive due to the age and quality of the photograph.
Police have released the photo to the public hoping to find out more information.
In particular, detectives would like to speak with anyone who may have been at the Geelong boarding house at that time in the hope that they may be able to provide information about Neil and Kaye.
A $1 million reward remains on offer for information relating to the disappearance of Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
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