Inquest for missing mum after heartbroken family’s plea
A coronial inquest will be held for missing mother Allison Bernard who disappeared in Far North Queensland almost eight years ago.
Ms Bernard, a young mother from Kowanyama, 23, was last seen alive in February 2013 after leaving a pub in Coen with a local caucasian man who regularly drank there.
The man told investigators they travelled about an hour away to a quarry, where he was living at the time, and that she later left.
The decision to hold an inquest comes after The Sunday Mail and The Courier-Mail spoke to her disappointed family and highlighted the case in the last year, with her family calling for an inquest.
They believe Allison - or Neridine as she was known to family - is dead and may have been murdered.
Advocates who joined the call for an inquest included Sisters Inside CEO Debbie Kilroy; Bruce Morcombe, the father of murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe; and Vanessa Fowler, the sister of murdered Brisbane woman Allison Baden-Clay.
Ms Kilroy said she had received a letter today advising her that the Northern Coroner Nerida Wilson planned to hold an inquest into Allison's death.
"Finally we've had some movement after nearly eight years," Ms Kilroy said.
"It's a long time it has taken for the family to get any sort of form of justice or find out what happened to her.
"It's absolutely a step in the right direction and it's a step in the right direction that should have been taken many years ago.
"To even find her body now may be impossible because of the time that has passed."
Ms Bernard's uncle Teddy Bernard said his niece was planning to travel home for her son's birthday when she vanished. He called for an inquest with other family members.
"Why hasn't more resources being put into this?" Mr Bernard said when previously interviewed in The Sunday Mail.
"I really want to see a miracle but I know that it might have been foul play.
"If she was (alive) there would have been some sort of contact."
Mr Bernard said the family wasn't informed if there would be a cold-case investigation or another team of detectives tasked to Allison's disappearance.
"The last time I spoke to detectives was five years ago," he said.
"You are the first person calling me, after five years. She probably met foul play."
"It's just that if only someone did something to her, have some dignity and tell the police," he said.
"Let us know where she is, if they've done something. Let us give her a proper burial."
Former Detective Greg Lamey who investigated the hauntingly similar but unrelated case of Theresa Binge, whose body was found in Boggabilla in northern NSW in 2003 after she left a Goondiwindi pub with a man, also called for an inquest into Ms Bernard's disappearance.
According to media statements over the last 14 months the Northern Coroner Nerida Wilson had been determining whether to hold an inquest after receiving the investigation material from police.
Later she requested "additional investigation material in order to determine whether an inquest is required".
Originally published as Inquest for missing mum after heartbroken family's plea