The family of a woman and her seven-month-old daughter who vanished in Western Australia more than 20 years ago have not given up hope the pair are still alive.
Veronica Philomena Lockyer, 33, and her baby, Adell Sherylee Partridge, were last seen in the Merredin/Burracoppin area in late 1998.
The indigenous mother-of-six led a transient lifestyle, having often visited women’s hostels in Perth and has extended family in WA’s northern Pilbara and Gascoyne regions, police said.
“They all assumed that Veronica was staying with other family members and it wasn’t unusual for Veronica to not be heard or seen for quite a period of time,” Detective Senior Sergeant Adrian Richards told reporters on Thursday.
Unconfirmed information indicates in November or December 1998 Ms Lockyer and her baby may have caught a taxi from the Centre Point Shopping Centre in Midland.
One of Ms Lockyer’s other children, known only as Donna, reported the pair missing in July last year.
“My family thought she was living in Perth with myself and Adell, and I grew up thinking that she lived in Port Hedland, so that’s where the gap is,” she said.
“It’s important to me because it’s been 20 years that my mother has not been in my life, my sister has not been in my life, and it feels like missing pieces.
“My kids go to sleep and wake up to a photo of my mother… it’s just that they’ve never met her in person.”
Ms Lockyer has an impaired left eye, which she often covers with her hair, and walks with a slight limp.
She was in an on-again, off-again relationship with the infant’s father at the time she disappeared and police have spoken with him.
The homicide squad is currently investigating the pair’s disappearance, but some documents and records have been destroyed since 1998, which has hindered the investigation.
Det Sen Sgt Richards said police had serious concerns about the welfare of Ms Lockyer and her baby, and were prepared for the worst.
“We’re approaching this investigation with an open mind,” he said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page.
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