Bombshell cold case breakthrough as remains of missing backpacker, 24, found 23 years after vanishing from hostel

Bombshell cold case breakthrough as remains of missing backpacker, 24, found 23 years after vanishing from hostel

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A PIVOTAL breakthrough in a cold case has been made after the remains of a missing backpacker were found – more than two decades after she first vanished.

In April 2001, 24-year-old Kellie Ann Carmichael disappeared from a hostel in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales (NSW) in a bombshell unsolved case.

The remains of missing backpacker Kellie Ann Carmichael have been found – over two decades after she first vanished
In April 2001, a 24-year-old Carmichael disappeared from a hostel in the Blue Mountains

Her human remains were discovered on Sunday by police in Katoomba, 23 years after she told staff she was going for a walk and never returned.

Carmichael, from Geelong, Victoria, wasn’t seen again with even her belongings being left behind at the backpacking hostel.

NSW Police released a statement saying: “During an unrelated police operation on Tuesday 30 April 2024, officers attached to Blue Mountains Police Area Command located human remains in bushland near Katoomba.

“Following inquires, police attended the same location on Monday 27 May, 2024, where they located further remains.

“The human remains initially located and seized have now been formally identified as those of missing person Kellie Ann Carmichael, and her family have now been notified.”

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Police were said to be abseiling down a cliff when they spotted the remains.

The investigation has been given to the Unsolved Homicide Team who are currently preparing to discuss evidence for the coroner to use.

Her cause of death is hoped to be partially identified through her bones so more light can be shed on the tragic case.

I feel like we’ve been robbed of having our daughter. Our life is never going to be the same


Margaret CarmichaelKellie Ann’s mum

The Carmichael family has suspected she was murdered since her disappearance.

Parents, John and Margaret, first reported their daughter as missing after growing worried when they hadn’t been in contact with Carmichael for almost a week.

After phoning the hostel, they were told she had checked out on April 29.

Staff said her ID, wallet, phone, camera, toiletries and cards were all found in her room.

Margaret told the media at the time: “I feel like we’ve been robbed of having our daughter.

“Our life is never going to be the same.”

Several theories were made over what had happened to the 24-year-old with some claiming a serial killer may have snatched her and dumped her body.

Police initially thought the woman may have taken her own life as she suffered with schizophrenia throughout her life.

Homicide Squad detectives took control of the investigation after the media storm around the missing woman.

Areas in the Blue Mountains were all fenced off as rescue efforts were deployed to try and locate Carmichael.

If you have been responsible for doing harm to Kellie Ann, the police will never close this file. They will hunt you until the day you die


Michael DaleyPolice minister

After eight years of searching, a 2009 inquest, conducted by deputy coroner Carl Milovanovich, declared Carmichael was dead.

But, they couldn’t say when, where or how she died.

Michael Daley, the area’s police minister pleaded with the public at the time saying: “Please give her family the closure that they deserve. Please come forward with information.

“And understand that if you have been responsible for doing harm to Kellie Ann, the police will never close this file.

“They will hunt you until the day you die.”

A £160,000 reward was offered for any information on the cold case.

It comes as a 12-year-old murder mystery case that saw three Brits killed in the French Alps could soon be solved thanks to breakthroughs in DNA testing.

The horror murder struck a layby in the French countryside back in September 2012, in which three members of a British family were tragically killed.

If a breakthrough discovery were made, this would not be the first decade-old case in France aided thanks to new DNA testing methods.

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The Blue Mountains in Australia where Kellie Ann’s human remains were found[/caption]

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