Fifty-two years to the day since three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer was abducted from Fairy Meadow beach in Wollongong, family members are visiting her memorial plaque, paying tribute to her and still searching for answers.
- On the anniversary of little Cheryl Grimmer’s disappearance, family members are still looking for answers
- Brother Ricki and his niece Melanie visited his memorial plaque in Wollongong to pay tribute
- New BBC podcast traces twists and turns the story has taken in the 52 years since Cheryl’s disappearance
Below photos of Cheryl and her family members looking young and exuberant before the tragedy, is a box of flowers wrapped in a pink ribbon and a pink teddy bear.
“We still live in the hope that one day someone… who knows something will come forward and do the right thing and tell the police what they know,” said brother Ricki Nash, who was the last member of the family to see Cheryl alive.
“And like I’ve said over the years, you can’t hide it. Someone knows the truth.”
“Cheryl is probably dead”
In 2011, a coroner ruled that Cheryl was probably dead, but the circumstances surrounding her death remained unknown.
Despite a reshuffled police investigation that resulted in an arrest in 2017, the case was dismissed when it went to court two years later as crucial evidence was ruled inadmissible.
The man, named Mercury, confessed, but because he was 17 at the time and the interview was conducted without a parent, adult or lawyer present, the court felt that it could not be used.
It’s a situation that still visibly upsets Ricki and her daughter, but today they’re trying to focus on Cheryl.
“This place is a place we can come and remember her and her spirit,” said Melanie Grimmer.
“It’s a place for me all alone, it’s a place for my kids, so they know their aunt and their family history, it’s a place for my dad, it’s a place for his brothers . “
The podcast documents the twists and turns
Cheryl Grimmer’s story has now been turned into an eight-part podcast series by BBC reporter Jon Kay.
He lives in Bristol, where the Grimmer family of six emigrated in 1968, but he only learned of what happened on Fairy Meadow beach in Wollongong decades later.
“A few years ago I suddenly got an alert on my phone, like a Google Alert about a story about a little girl from Bristol who went missing on Fairy Meadow beach all those years ago, and I had never heard of it, ”Kay said.
“And I was like ‘What? This is so intriguing.’
“So I started knocking on family doors [members] who had stayed in the UK, and none of them wanted to talk about it. ”
Kay eventually made contact with Cheryl’s older brother, Ricki Nash, and around the same time the case started to move again.
NSW Police continue to investigate the crime, but the urgency has died down.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Cheryl Grimmer remains the responsibility of the Unresolved Homicides Unit of the Homicide Squad,” said a police statement.
“A million dollar award for information leading to the recovery of Cheryl’s body and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance remains in place. “
‘Fairy Meadow’ podcast episodes 1 and 2 are available on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts, with new episodes every Wednesday.