Advertiser Wednesday February 4 1998

Police seek help to trace the last movements of...

The girl who didn't come home

Murdered teenager Heather Turner may have been trying to hitch a ride home from Semaphore when she disappeared on January 16. Two weeks later the body of the "fun loving" young woman was discovered in a Port Gawler Creek. Police believe a female friend - who met Heather near the Semaphore jetty on January 16 - may have been the last person to see her alive. The two had met at midday near the junction of The Esplanade and Semaphore Rd. and parted about 30 mins later. Superintendent Paul Schramm, officer in charge of the major task force, said it was unclear how Heather planned to travel home. "We are not ruling out the possibility that she hitched a ride to somewhere," he said. Another possibility is that she was walking home when she disappeared. Police yesterday revealed the teenager's identity and details of her last known movements in the hope this would generate information from the public. At the meeting with her friend, Heather was dressed distinctively in a white crocheted beret, stretch lace top with floral design, jeans and lace-up boots similar to Doc Marten's. She was carrying a large black shoulder bag with a Tweetie bird motif.

Her body, formally identified late yesterday using dental records, was clad in only the top, underwear and a single sock when discovered. An autopsy indicated she had not been sexually assaulted, but sustained injuries "consistent with an assault." The body was discovered by a police officer on a routine patrol along Port Gawler Rd and in an area "notorious" for dumping of stolen cars. While Heather, an employee of the Franklins Supermarket at Welland, had been living with her parents at the time of her disappearance, they had not reported her missing. "She had, from time to time, stayed with other people.... that was the primary reason as to why she wasn't reported missing." Superintendent Schramm said. "I think she was a typical teenager, she was gregarious young girl, fun loving and certainly had not come under any adverse notice of the police." Police will today begin interviewing friends and associates while forensic tests continue.

© The Advertiser written by Jeremy Pudney



Police say early public assistance could prove critical in solving the Heather Turner murder. The officer in charge of the Major Crime Task Force, Superintendent Paul Schramm, said Heather could have been sighted "literally anywhere" in the days after her disappearance. "We have a number of theories but certainly we are very anxious to hear from members of the public to piece together a lot of unanswered questions," he said. "The public generally and perhaps, friends and associates of Heather who may be able to come forward and help us." Anyone with information should phone Crime stoppers on 1800333000.

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