Mystery remains for missing WA cult family

Three people who went missing from rural Western Australia with a self-styled spiritual leader in mysterious circumstances are not necessarily dead, a coroner has concluded.

Gary Felton, 45, who went by the alias Simon Kadwell, his 27-year-old partner Chantelle McDougall, their five-year-old daughter Leela and friend Tony Popic, 40, left their Nannup property in July 2007 and their families have not heard from them since.

Their rented house was spotless, valuable furnishings had been left behind and a note written by Ms McDougall claimed they had gone to Brazil.

An inquest in December heard England-born Felton travelled extensively in the 1990s under his new identity on a spiritual pilgrimage, then published books devoted to his beliefs including Servers of the Divine Plan.

In findings released on Tuesday, Coroner Barry King said he skimmed through some of the books, which used language "grandiose and replete with hyperbole and unsupported assertions, some of which appeared bizarre".

Felton lived off the charity of others, the income from his books or the earnings of his spouses, including Ms McDougall, who became his partner around 2000.

Three years later, they moved from Perth to the country because they liked the isolation.

Mr King said there was uncorroborated and vague evidence indicating Felton's past may have involved stealing money as part of criminal activity, which could explain his reclusiveness and part of his motivation for disappearing.

He spent a lot of time on the internet and slept through much of the day, and eventually told an online follower he planned a suicide pact.

Ms McDougall's mother recalled he once asked her which planet she was from and genuinely believed people came from outer space to Earth.

The inquest heard he had also complained the electromagnetic field given off by the transformer at the Nannup property was making him sick, and he said he wanted to move away, mentioning Brazil.

The group gave away their animals and sold their cars before vanishing.

Months after their disappearance, prison workers found a woman's t-shirt in remote bushland near Northcliffe and it was seized by police but never forensically examined.

Other investigative opportunities were not followed up, Mr King said.

He concluded he had not found it had been established beyond all reasonable doubt that any of the four were dead.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.