On December 7th, 2001 at around 4 A.M., Janine Vaughan, then 31 years old, went missing from Keppel Street, Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia. She hasn’t been glimpsed since.
On the night in question, Vaughan had been drinking with a group of companions at the Metro Tavern. This tavern was on George Street, which crosses Keppel Street not too distant from where Vaughan was last glimpsed.
When Vaughan went missing, she was walking about forty meters ahead of her group of friends. She was last glimpsed getting into a red four-door sedan that was probably a late ’90s model and is reported to have been the same shape as either a Mitsubishi Magna or a Toyota Camry.
A similar car is related to a still unknown man who was reportedly stalking women in the region in the time leading up to Vaughan’s disappearance. Police assume that the driver is most probably the same man who picked Vaughan up that night.
Janine Vaughan Details
Janine Vaughan was thirty-one at the time of her disappearance. She was 164 centimeters tall, which is about 5’5″ in supreme measurements. She had lengthy blonde hair which ran about halfway down her back. She’s frequently pictured with some of her hair going over her shoulders. Her eyes were green.
On the night in question, Janine misplaced a handbag at the Metro Tavern. The bag was discovered a few hours later by a cleaner working at the hotel. The bag is remembered to have had some of Vaughan’s bills in it. It also had her cell phone, her cash, and her house keys, which meant that when she vanished, she had no cash and no way of calling anyone to report what had occurred to her.
Janine Vaughan’s Bag
The cleaner who discovered the bag is quoted by the Western Advocate as having known this bag particularly because it looked like someone had intentionally hidden it. “I discovered it jammed in the corner,” he said. “Someone had put packets of chips in front of it.”
The bag had also been jammed behind a pole. This was rare because bags were frequently left behind a board that blocked off the tavern’s staircase.
Diary Of Janine
Another chunk of information of significant interest was a diary that Janine was writing. In it, she wrote of worries that she had about regional policeman Mr. Hosemans, particularly that he’d been stalking her. This diary was given to the police within a fortnight of her disappearance, but it’s since gone missing. These suspicions about Sergeant Hosemans had also been reported to police not long after her disappearance.
During the course of their preliminary inquiry, police initially freed Sergeant Hosemans of any misconduct. Their inquiry of him comprised drilling a hole in a concrete floor in his house and various interviews.
Horseman’s refuted any involvement in the crime. He contends to have been visiting his mum near Newcastle on the day in question and has refuted ever having any connection with Vaughan in the months leading up to her disappearance.
Nonetheless, the allegations of Hosemans’s involvement have been a chronic portion of this case. In 2005, the New South Wales Commissioner of Police received an unknown letter contending not only that Hosemans was involved, but that there had been a police coverup of his involvement.
In reaction to these allegations, the Police Integrity Commission (which is an independent body) inaugurated an inquiry. During the hearings, Hosemans confessed he’d been in Bathurst during the night of Vaughan’s disappearance. He also contended that while he hadn’t realized Vaughan before her disappearance, he had realized of her. He still refuted any involvement in her disappearance nonetheless, which is a stance he holds to this day.
Discredited statements made by an unidentified at this hearing contended that there had been a sighting of Vaughan with Hosemans during the night of her disappearance. She was bound and restrained in his car.
Nonetheless, Sergeant Hosemans’ probable involvement in the case has enormous ethical ramifications for the inquiry. During the early phases of the inquiry, he was a part of the task force that was examining her disappearance and stayed on the case for many years until the 2009 inquest. It’s only been with subsequent task forces that Hosemans hasn’t been involved with the investigative squad.
While police did clear him of any involvement in 2002. The newest round of inquiries currently deems him to be one of three main people of interest in the crime. This has been the case since the 2009 inquest by the State Coroner. Which came to the finding that Vaughan was most probably killed.
Another chunk of information of interest was a bloodied knife. That was discovered on the floors of a local nursing home facility. This knife was found on December 10th, just three days after Vaughan’s disappearance. A forensics officer working for the Bathurst police did a visual examination of the knife. And had submitted that it be assessed by the Division of Analytical Laboratories.
These analyses by the Division of Analytical Laboratories never happened. The knife was never again inspected, and in fact, was demolished in February 2002. This enormous mishandling of evidence during the preliminary inquiry became one of the motives. The Vaughan family has since lost a lot of trust in regional police.
The finding of the bloodied knife at the aged care facility came to be a piece of information that has led aged care wardsman, Denis Briggs, to become an individual of interest.
During an interview with Ten News in 2019, Briggs contends he didn’t murder her. He also contends that, despite the pair frequenting Metro Tavern at the exact time, he’d never noticed her there. He had, nonetheless, glimpsed her at the store she worked at and interpreted her as being a “verily friendly, very bubbly” type of person.
Janine Murdered, May Be
It’s contended that he’d confessed to having killed Vaughan during the 2009 inquest. The story Briggs told is said to have implicated him slitting Vaughan’s throat and burying her under a heap of rocks. He contends to have come up with the story because he felt he was under a lot of tension by regional police during their inquiry.
At the time of Vaughan’s disappearance, Briggs initially came under police scrutiny due to him driving a pink/red 1995 Hyundai Excel. The car was forensically assessed in February 2002, but nothing of curiosity was found during this investigation.
Briggs’ girlfriend at the time, Julie Anne Heydon, told that while he was largely respectful with his bipolar medication at the time of Vaughan’s disappearance, he’d halted taking the medication on December 4th, 2001 because he wished to experience a high. Ms. Heydon also reports a discussion with Briggs not long after Vaughan’s disappearance in which Briggs allegedly told, “Whatever occurred to her will happen to you.”
In the months instantly after Vaughan’s disappearance, various people reported Briggs affirming that he’d killed Vaughan. Two observers reported that one night at the regional RSL club, he’d alleged to have killed her and buried her at White Rock. (White Rock is a region just south of Bathurst. It’s near a similar river that runs through the town.)
Other observers allege that Briggs was purchasing things from Ed Harry’s, the store Vaughan worked at, just because he was going in there so much, not because he really wanted it.
The third of the current individuals of interest is Andrew Jones, a regional pharmacist. During the 2009 inquest, he was instructed by his lawyer not to talk, which is the advice he selected to follow. A decade later, he was reluctant to do interviews with Ten News on the matter.
In 2008, the police took custody of a red Renault 19 which is speculated to have belonged to Jones at the time of Vaughan’s disappearance. When inquired about the car, he told Ten News that while he had once owned a Renault 19, he was hesitant as to what had become of the car as he’d sold it years before.
It’s speculated that he sold the car in 2002, not long after Vaughan’s disappearance. Nonetheless, it wasn’t seized by police until years later. The car was of attention to police because it fitted portrayals of the care given at the time of her disappearance, and also matched the available forensic information of the car’s estimated wheel size.
I am Honest
On the subject of a continued police inquiry into his involvement, he told, “I’m an honest person. I do not have anything to do with the disappearance in Bathurst. I’ve never had anything to do with it, so it’s quite strange as to why it’s all taken off now.”
While Jones now says that he never met Vaughan, in 2009 he’d said to police that he’d known her but wasn’t attached with her. At the time Vaughan went missing, Jones had managed a pharmacy in the same shopping center that Vaughan served at.
There were financial certificates of him having made purchases at the store Vaughan served at. These three purchases were all made within two months of each other. While it’s not verified that Vaughan was working all three times Jones is proved to have made purchases there, one of Vaughan’s coworkers said it was possible that she had been working, still. During a talk with police in 2002, Jones said he’d once purchased a shirt off Vaughan while she was helping at Ed Harris.
Andrew Jones also matches the detail of a man driving a red car noticed by one of Vaughan’s friends that night. It’s noted that the male in the red car had “stalked” Vaughan down William Street not long before she went missing.
The disappearance of Janine Vaughan is still unsolved to this day. Now, the police are offering a $1,000,000 reward for any proof that might bring the investigation to an end. It is thought that she was killed, still, her body has never been found.