A 52-year-old gentleman stands accused of the heinous murder of a woman from Perth who went missing last year. Additionally, he is now under investigation in connection with the brutal death of a young woman named Annette Steward from Geelong nearly three decades ago.
The arrest of this individual occurred on a Sunday as part of a joint operation carried out by Victoria Police and Western Australia Police. He is charged with the killing of Dianne Barrett, whose remains were discovered in bushland over the weekend. Last May, the 59-year-old woman vanished, and it is uncertain whether the accused and the victim were acquainted despite living close to each other.
Subsequently, Victoria Police disclosed that this same man is being interrogated by detectives from the homicide squad regarding the cold-case murder of Annette Steward, a mother of two, in Geelong West back in 1992. As of now, he has not been charged in relation to the murder of Annette Steward. However, the police assert that they are not seeking anyone else in connection to the case, and the investigation continues.
Ms Steward had two children and worked in a Geelong ammunition factory at the time of her death.
Annette Steward was tragically found deceased in her bedroom by a friend on March 18, 1992, just two weeks before her 30th birthday. She was an employee at the Winchester Factory in Point Henry and had returned home after shopping in Geelong around 4.30 pm. Later, she entertained four friends with a tea session.
The following day, a friend noticed her car in the driveway and entered the house, discovering Annette Steward’s lifeless body in her bedroom. An autopsy later revealed that she had died due to strangulation, as confirmed by the police in 2015. Notably, in 2007, a co-worker of Ms. Steward was named the prime suspect in her murder, yet no charges were ever brought against him.
In 2015, the police offered a $1 million reward for information related to the 29-year-old’s death, and her children fervently appealed for anyone with knowledge to come forward. Jacinta, her daughter, was only 13, and her son, Aaron, was 10 when their mother passed away. According to Ms. Steward’s daughter, her mother was a cherished individual, brimming with life and loved by many.
The man being interviewed by Victoria Police in this case was apprehended on a Sunday morning in Wembley, a suburb of Perth. Following an appearance before Rockingham Magistrates Court on Monday, he was remanded to face court later this month.
These events followed the discovery of human remains, believed to be those of the missing woman, Ms. Barrett, found in bushland off Nettleton Road, Karrakup, approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Perth. Ms. Barrett’s brother expressed his disbelief at her disappearance, stating that it was completely out of character for her, as she was a simple and caring person who would go to great lengths to help others.