The West

A man suspected of killing missing woman Sarah McMahon has claimed the 20-year-old is "alive and well" overseas, suggesting he was protecting her whereabouts for her own "safety".

Donald Victor Morey, who is in jail serving time for attempting to kill a sex worker in 2003, repeatedly threatened to walk out of an inquest today that is investigating the suspected death of Miss McMahon whose distressed family have not heard from her since November 8, 2000.

An inquest into the matter wound up late on Friday, with WA Coroner Alastair Hope saying there was no reason to suggest Ms McMahon died of natural causes, suicide or a drug overdose.

The evidence that she had died of homicide appeared overwhelming, Mr Hope said.

He also said evidence pointed to Morey as the prime suspect.

Morey, who was considered a suspect during police investigations and a case review, was today summonsed to give evidence in the coronial inquiry, which is being held in a bid to uncover fresh information.

The inquest has heard that Morey, 57, had befriended the young woman in the months before her disappearance and was the last known person to speak to her the day she disappeared.

Witnesses have testified that they found a bag belonging to Morey containing rope, knives, and a pornographic magazine of images of seemingly dead naked women after Miss McMahon's disappearance.

One witness signed a statement last year claiming she had seen the young woman's body in Morey's bedroom with rope around her neck the day of her disappearance. But yesterday the witness recanted and claimed she had never given the account.

Today, Morey was brought into the Coroner's Court to answer questions but repeatedly threatened to leave after he was pressed on certain issues.

Morey, who described himself as "half dead" from heart problems, refused to answer some questions and suggested the suspicions were the result of police corruption and lies.

He claimed he had also been wrongfully convicted of the attempted murder of the sex worker.

"She's not dead ... full stop," Morey claimed, suggesting Miss McMahon was alive overseas with two children and that he had helped her travel there illegally

He also suggested he had been in frequent contact with her even after he was jailed in 2005.

Morey said he could not answer further questions because they would put Miss McMahon's life in "danger".

Whether the coroner will refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions and make adverse findings against the witnesses will be revealed when Mr Hope hands down his findings on January 17.

The West Australian

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