Advertiser Friday May 25 1998


Murder Questions

The family of murdered 16-year-old Heather Turner has broken its silence about the unsolved killing to ask why the life of their "special kid" was so callously stolen from them.


Murdered girl's family asks why


"At the moment it is like we are all waiting with bated breath just to know what happened"

Cherished family photographs tell the story of Heather Turner, a "special kid" who became a bright, popular young woman with a zest for life. At only 16, she had her whole life to look forward to - until that life was callously stolen. Now, four months after her murder, Heather's family has broken its silence to ask: "why?" Why did someone cut short the Happy-go-lucky teenagers life? "Why us?" "We look at Heather's photo and think she's never going to grow up," her aunt, Ms Janet Turner, told The Advertiser." She's not going to have the chance to have a family of her own" Heather's body was found dumped near car wrecks among the mangroves of a remote Port Gawler creek on Saturday, January 31. Police believe she was assaulted and killed about a week earlier. Heather was a former Taperoo High School student who loved dance and craft and had just started work at Franklins Supermarket, Welland. "People liked Heather." Ms Turner said. "She was a typical teenager. She was out to enjoy herself and she did." While the family will never overcome its grief, it has spoken out in the hope information from public the will see the traumatic events "finalised". Ms Turner said somebody must know something, and they should come forward. "At the moment it is like we are all waiting with bated breath just to know what happened," she said. Ms Turner says Heathers parents - Sue, 42, and David, 51, - are still struggling to overcome their grief. "Sue, I think, keeps herself very busy all the time and David works very hard," she said. "It will never stop hurting totally and for David and Sue, it's something they will have to face for the rest of their lives." Major Crime Task Force detectives said Heather was last seen at Semaphore Rd, on Saturday, January 17. About noon the previous day Heather met a friend near the Semaphore jetty. At that meeting she wore a white crocheted beret, floral top, jeans and black lace up boots. However, where she stayed that Friday night remains a mystery. Detective Superintendent Paul Schramm, the officer in charge of the Major Crime Task Force, said three people had seen Heather on or near Semaphore Rd that day. "But we have had absolutely no information from people about where she spent Friday night," he said, "If she was seen to be well on Saturday, why isn't someone coming forward to tell us where she was staying that Friday night? Was she at a party? Did she stay with someone? Or did somebody see her with someone?" Heather had been living at home when she vanished but it was not unusual for the "independent" teenager to stay with friends for some time and so her parents were not immediately worried. They did not think it unusual that their daughter had not called because they had recently changed to a silent phone number which she might not have remembered. It was two weeks later that Heathers body was found. Her distinctive black shoulder bag with a Tweetie-bird motif on the front flap - considered an important clue - has never been found. Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000

© The Advertiser written by Jeremy Pudney

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