Police Finish Lynette Dawson Search With No New Evidence Found
The extensive dig has ended after six days.
A week of digging and searching at the former home of missing woman Lynette Dawson has found no new evidence.
The nurse and mother-of-two disappeared in 1982, just days before her husband Chris Dawson moved his 16-year-old lover Joanne Curtis into the Bayview family home.
During the search on Sydney's northern beaches, earth-drilling machinery was used to excavate rocks, dirt and foundations at the property. However, despite six days of searching, police said they had not found any new evidence.
"The operation, conducted as part of ongoing investigations into the suspected murder of Lynette Dawson, commenced last Wednesday and concluded today," police said in a statement on Monday.
"Police have not located Lynette’s remains or any items of interest to the investigation."
"Detectives from the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide Unit established Strike Force Scriven in 2015 to re-investigate Lynette’s disappearance and are committed to providing answers to her family."
On Wednesday, at the commencement of the forensic search, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said "anomalies" had been found in the ground during previous efforts.
"This is about getting justice for Lyn."
The search is taking place across four sites at the home and in the backyard.
"We'll go to the bottom of the pool, and until we hit rock in parts of the yard," he said on Wednesday. "At the end of the day, it will be a hand dig."
Superintendent Cook said the strike force had detailed copies of the house plan and photographs, as well as a "good understanding" of renovations and additions to the home.
"It's a complex block of land because it is largely rock, and so digging about 300mm to 400mm down is about as far as we'll get," he said.
"We have done a full survey of the landscape. We just want to make sure we can put this to bed."
Dawson's disappearance has been the subject of two coronnial inquests, and more recently a popular Australian podcast series, The Teacher's Pet, which has attracted up to 19 million listeners.
Two separate inquests previously recommended to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that a "known person", now identified as Chris Dawson, be charged with her murder. But the DPP determined insufficient evidence to lay charges.
Superintendent Cook wrote to the DPP in April seeking a review of the case and presenting a new brief of evidence that is hoped will result in criminal prosecution.
"This investigation commenced in 2015, and since then, we have obtained a lot more evidence," he said.
Earlier this week, Nicholas Cowdery QC, in charge of the NSW DPP at the time, told The ABC he had good reason not to lay charges.
"Without a body, without knowing first of all whether in fact she is dead, without knowing secondly, if she is dead, how she died, it's very hard to mount a case of a reasonable prospect of conviction just on motive and the undefined existence of means and opportunity," he said.
"That makes it very weak."
Superintendent Cook said police are confident in proceeding with charging Dawson despite the outcome of the dig, and whether remains are found.
"That's why I wrote to the Director in April," he said on Wednesday.
The search also comes days after Michelle Walsh, a school friend of Joanne Curtis revealed she believed her friend left Dawson because she knew he had killed his wife.
"She genuinely believed he killed Lyn, there's no doubt about it," Walsh told A Current Affair.