NSW Police and Forensic Services personnel are seen sifting through dirt as they search the former home of missing woman Lynette Dawson, at Bayview on the northern beaches, in Sydney. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
NSW Police and Forensic Services personnel are seen sifting through dirt as they search the former home of missing woman Lynette Dawson, at Bayview on the northern beaches, in Sydney. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Dawson family’s anxious wait for closure

A FORMER high school teacher kept a low profile on the Gold Coast while police searched his former Sydney home looking for clues into the disappearance of his wife 36 years ago.

NSW police began a large-scale forensic search, including excavation, at the former Sydney home of Chris Dawson.

The house was owned by Mr Dawson, who now lives on the Coast, and his former wife Lynette Dawson when she went missing in 1982.

Two coroners have found that Mr Dawson most likely killed his wife, but he has always maintained his innocence and has never been charged.

Police have confirmed more than $500,000 will be spent on the six-day search of the Bayview home.

CHRIS DAWSON'S DAUGHTER SPEAKS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 36 YEARS

It's believed Mr Dawson and his brother, Paul Dawson, were on the Gold Coast yesterday when police arrived at the Sydney home with concrete cutting tools and digging machines.

It was a day of high emotion for Mrs Dawson's family, who have waited 36 long years to find her.

"We can only hope," said brother Greg Simms, a former police­man who has carried his sister's disappearance like a heavy weight. "If they find Lyn, that's a double whammy for us - we've got him (Lyn's killer) and we've got her so we can put her to rest."

Lynette Dawson, pictured on the ABC's 'Chequerboard' program back in the 1970s. Picture: ABC
Lynette Dawson, pictured on the ABC's 'Chequerboard' program back in the 1970s. Picture: ABC

"If they find something, it will vindicate everything we have been doing.

"We just hope that a very extensive check is done on the whole block and we hope they find something. It needed to be done."

Days after his wife went missing, Mr Dawson moved a teenage student, Joanne Curtis, into his family home with him and his two children, Shanelle, 4, and Sherryn, 2.

In 1985 the Dawson brothers and their families moved to the Gold Coast, where they still remain.

Vision of the forensic search at a Northern Beaches property in Bayview, in relation to Strike Force Scriven which is investigating the disappearance of Lynette Dawson in 1982. Source: NSW Police Force
Vision of the forensic search at a Northern Beaches property in Bayview, in relation to Strike Force Scriven which is investigating the disappearance of Lynette Dawson in 1982. Source: NSW Police Force

Speaking to the Bulletin, a source, who wished to remain anonymous, said the family believed everything Mr Dawson, and his brother, said.

"Something has to come to a head," the source said.

"These are very different people who believe everything they're told."

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said police would use machines and hand dig in some areas.

Police discussing their next move Source: NSW Police Force
Police discussing their next move Source: NSW Police Force

He said laser mapping had identified "anomalies" in rock formations, which suggested the site had been disturbed in an unnatural manner.

The entire back yard will be mapped and plotted digitally and submitted to the DPP.

Det Supt Cook said he wanted to do the "best job we can" and that it was all about "doing justice for Lyn".

He said he would dig as far as they had to, including to the bottom of the pool, and in "other areas we will go down until we hit rock".

The family who now lives in the home have agreed to let police conduct the search.

Mrs Dawson's sister Pat Jenkins, of Seaforth, said the family were hopeful the search would bring results.

"We hope it will resolve the question of what happened to Lyn," Mrs Jenkins said.

"We really hope they find what they are looking for and that it's a thorough and extensive search."



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