Rachel Antonio.
Rachel Antonio. Contributed

Inquest opened into mystery disappearance of Rachel Antonio

THE mystery surrounding the disappearance and suspected homicide of Rachel Joy Antonio will come under the spotlight as an inquest into her disappearance is opened.

Her family has endured heartache but remained strong in their fight for answers over the past 16 years. Rachel was 16 years old when she went missing on Anzac Day in 1998.

The inquest, which will begin at 10am in the Bowen Coroners Court on May 26, will highlight five key questions.

First, whether or not Rachel is dead. If it is found that she is, then:

  • When did Rachel die?
  • Where did Rachel die?
  • What caused Rachel's death?
  • How did Rachel die?

No evidence will be heard on the opening date as it is the pre-inquest conference.

This is where Coroner David O'Connell will decide on the issues to be explored at the actual inquest, what evidence will be called, how long the inquest will take and where it will be held.

Applications for leave to appear from those who believe they have an interest in the matter will also be heard.

On March 28 this year, Queensland Police changed the conditions of a $250,000 reward originally offered in 2005 in relation to Rachel's disappearance.

The initial reward was for information leading to an arrest over the suspected homicide. The money is now offered to whoever can lead police to Rachel's remains.

She was dropped off at the corner of Beach Ave and Murroona St at 6pm to see a movie and was never seen by her family again.

Former Bowen Surf Life Saving Club captain Robert Hytch was arrested on a murder charge eight months after her disappearance.

It was alleged they were having an affair.

He was found guilty of manslaughter but the decision was overturned on appeal and he was found not guilty.

Those intending to seek leave to appear or wanting further information should phone 4967 4403.


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