The West

Missing woman puzzle grips the nation
Jillian Meagher with husband Tom on their wedding day in 2008.

It's the Melbourne mystery that has gripped Perth.

As homicide detectives hunt for clues into the disappearance of former Perth woman Jillian Meagher, her devastated parents and friends in WA wait anxiously for news.

"This is an old high school friend, please share and help," one friend from Rossmoyne High School posted on Facebook, attaching a link to an article about the missing 29-year-old.

Another posted: "To all my friends in Melbourne . . . please if you have any information or have seen the missing girl Jill Meagher . . . please go to the police!! We have been neighbours and friends for decades!! Please help!!"

Ms Meagher disappeared during the five-minute walk home from Bar Etiquette in Brunswick early on Saturday.

When she did not arrive home, her husband Tom Meagher repeatedly called her mobile phone and went out searching for her about 4am.

He reported her missing to police about midday and contacted friends to find out if anyone had seen her.

Ms Meagher and her younger brother Michael were born in Ireland but spent much of their childhood in Perth, where her parents Edith and George McKeon still live.

It emerged she spoke briefly to her brother in Perth about the time she left the bar, calling to check on her ill father.

The conversation had been brief because the siblings had not wanted to wake him and when Michael went quickly downstairs to call his sister again, she did not answer and he was not able to get hold of her again.

He was the last one to have spoken to her.

It is believed Ms Meagher finished high school in Ireland when her parents returned there to live for some years and stayed on when they returned to Perth.

She married Mr Meagher in Ireland in 2008 and the pair moved to Melbourne about 2010.

Ms Meagher had been working as a unit assistant at the ABC in Melbourne, helping management with contracts, leave and budgets. She had been drinking with ABC colleagues at two local bars on Friday night and had refused an offer from a workmate to be accompanied home when she left Bar Etiquette about 1.30am.

ABC colleagues have broadcast developments in the case and released a statement saying friends and colleagues were saddened and concerned.

"She is a highly valued and much loved member of the local radio team," the ABC said. "Our thoughts are with Jill's family and friends during this very difficult time."

There has been no sign of Ms Meagher.

She has not accessed her bank account and her mobile phone is off.

Michael McKeon has flown to Melbourne to help the search and has been distributing flyers appealing for anyone with information regarding his sister's whereabouts to come forward. A "Help us find Jill Meagher" Facebook page was set up on Saturday and has more than 66,000 "likes".

People have been posting messages on Mr Meagher's Facebook page from across the world, particularly London and Ireland.

"Hope everything works out for the best for you guys it's hard to take in. I'm sure but keep the faith. From every one in Ireland xx," one wrote.

"Hey Tom, we're all thinking of you and Jill back home. I know this is an absolute nightmare but you're not on your own and there is so much love for you guys out there.

"We are all rooting for you two and hoping Jill is found safe and well," another wrote.

Reports of her disappearance have been on the news in Britain and Ireland, where many of her relatives live.

Ms Meagher's uncle Michael McKeon, in Drogheda, Ireland, told the Irish Times it seemed his niece walked home at the wrong time. "We just hope that she is found and is OK," he said.

Ms Meagher had recently been in Drogheda with her parents to see relatives.

They returned to Perth before her, and she cut her holiday short when her father had a stroke.

She spent a week with him before returning to Melbourne this month for work.

The West Australian

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