Second week of inquest into Bowen teen's disappearance

UPDATE:

ONE of Rachel Antonio's "best" friends said she knew of her secret and sexual relationship with Robert Hytch and plans to fake a pregnancy.

Nancy Dibben also told the Coronial Court Rachel had told her that she was sexually abused by a family friend.

Ms Dibben said this topic only ever came up once while they were at school and Rachel pointed out a white van to her as it drove passed and said it belonged to the family friend.

Ms Dibben was the first witness called for the second week of the inquest into the disappearance and suspected death of the 16-year-old Bowen girl.

She was last seen on Anzac Day in 1998.

Two witnesses have described how Rachel loved her mum, was happy, dedicated to health and fitness and had big plans for her futute.

Rachel's parents Ian and Cheryl Antonio were again in court to hear all the evidence.

"We're not going to get the whole truth this week. It's going to go ahead again in October," Mr Antonio said.

 

EARLIER:

THE second week of the coronial inquest into the disappearance and suspected death of Bowen teen Rachel Antonio begins today.

Eighteen witnesses are listed to give evidence including Robert Hytch, the man who has twice been tried for her death.

Mr Hytch will be questioned on Thursday. He is the only witness listed for that day.

Alleged secret diary notes have indicated a sexual relationship between Mr Hytch and Rachel, a relationship he has always previously denied.

According to the diary entries, which were found hidden in Rachel's bedroom and allegedly were written by her, the relationship became sexual when she was 15 and he 23 years old. He was captain of Bowen Surf Life Saving Club, of which Rachel was also a member.

During the first week of the inquest, in late July, multiple witnesses told the court they knew or had heard that Mr Hytch and Rachel were involved in a relationship.

The 16-year-old girl went missing on Anzac Day in 1998. She had told her mother she wanted to see Good Will Hunting at the Summergarden cinema.

Cheryl Antonio dropped her daughter off about 6pm because the family car had a broken headlight and they didn't like to drive it in the dark. Because the film wasn't due to start until 7pm, Rachel indicated to her mother that she would take a walk down to the stinger net.

Witness James Prowse, who was walking home from the bowling club, said he saw Rachel about 7pm at the laneway near the tennis courts and that she looked like she was waiting for someone.

Rachel was never seen again.

The court has already heard from 31 witnesses. Several told the court they knew of Rachel's plan to fake a pregnancy. Another witness, pool lessee Sidney Pate, was in the same place at the same time Rachel disappeared, but said he didn't see her.



Not enough deaths: RMS

premium_icon Not enough deaths: RMS

Email claims government is waiting for fatality

Final decision made on this year's Ballina Cup

premium_icon Final decision made on this year's Ballina Cup

Jockey club boss admits it has been a "difficult situation"

Airbnb could face class action from North Coast owners

premium_icon Airbnb could face class action from North Coast owners

Holiday rental owners are threatening legal action

Local Partners