An international search is underway for witnesses considered key to the 47-year-old case of vanished toddler Cheryl Grimmer, as police prepare to mount their case against the girl’s alleged killer.
Detectives have revealed they are are trying to locate a family, now believed to be living overseas, that provided “crucial” statements to police on January 12, 1970, the day Cheryl disappeared from Fairy Meadow Beach.
Peter William Aubrey Goodyear, then aged 37, his wife, Mavis, and daughters, Karen, aged six, and Jannette, aged five, were living at the Fairy Meadow Commonwealth Hostel at the time.
According to reports from the day, Mr Goodyear told police he saw a man running from the area with a motionless, fair-haired girl under his arm, the day Cheryl vanished.
“I saw a little, dark man carrying a limp, blond-haired girl to the car. My daughter said to me, ‘Daddy, why is that man carrying that little girl?’,” Mr Goodyear told reporters.
Mr Goodyear worked as a labourer at the John Lysaght Springhill metal works in the Illawarra before he moved his family to the ‘Biabi’ plantation on Kar Kar Island, Madang, Papua New Guinea in late 1970.
The Goodyears later returned home to England and were last believed to be living in Oxton in Nottinghamshire.
Late last month, officers attached to Strike Force Wessel charged a 63-year-old Melbourne man with the abduction and murder of three-year-old Cheryl.
“We have been making inquiries with authorities in Britain in a bid to find Mr Goodyear, if he is still alive, to determine whether he can still assist our ongoing inquiries,” Detective Sergeant, Damian Loone, said.
“To date, those efforts have not been successful.
“We are keen to hear from anyone, here or abroad, who can help us locate the Goodyears.
“We will make the necessary arrangements to speak to them.”
Anyone with information about Peter Goodyear and his family is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Wollongong detectives on (02) 4226 7899.