A skull and bones found in remote bush are most likely those of a Chinchilla woman Kerry Lynette Mackay, who disappeared with her dog on her way to Cunnamulla.
A skull and bones found in remote bush are most likely those of a Chinchilla woman Kerry Lynette Mackay, who disappeared with her dog on her way to Cunnamulla.

Bones may solve mystery of a sister ‘hopelessly lost’

A skull and bones found in a remote area of Queensland bushland are most likely those of a woman who disappeared with her dog 17 years ago when she became stranded with a flat tyre.

Kerry Lynette Mackay was last seen on February 27, 2003, when she set off from Chinchilla to visit her sister 700km away in Cunnamulla.

But the 39-year-old had inexplicably drove in the wrong direction and police now believe they may have discovered her remains in the Durikai State Forest, 27km west of Warwick.

Police had refocused their search in the state forest in 2007 - four years after Kerry vanished - after her abandoned car was discovered by a member of the Queensland Nature Conservation Group.

One of the car's tyres had been punctured by a stick and the remains of her birds were in a cage on the back seat.

Kerry Lynette Mackay, who disappeared in 2003, was featured in an episode of television show Missing Person’s Unit.
Kerry Lynette Mackay, who disappeared in 2003, was featured in an episode of television show Missing Person’s Unit.

There was no sign of Kerry's Labrador-cross Grizzly, who was never far from her side.

Kerry's sister, Lesley Lloyd, said police contacted her this week to say a gold prospector had stumbled across bones not far from where the car was found.

Ms Lloyd said she'd been told there was a "strong possibility" the bones belonged to her missing sister.

"Either way, it's going to be a shock, isn't it?" she said.

"Even though it's expected, it's just been hanging over us so long, it's still a shock when you hear something like that.

"Unless you find the body, there's always that possibility she may turn up somewhere."

Ms Lloyd said her sister suffered from schizophrenia and had taken the loss of their mother two years earlier hard.

Police divers were filmed searching a waterway near where Kerry Mackay’s car was found for the television show Missing Persons Unit.
Police divers were filmed searching a waterway near where Kerry Mackay’s car was found for the television show Missing Persons Unit.

But she was adamant Kerry would not have taken her own life and believes her disappearance wasn't taken seriously in the early days.

"She never, ever would have done that," she said.

"She would ring us all the time. She'd never go off somewhere and not ring us. And she never would have taken her animals with her if she was going to do something like that. She wouldn't have left her birds to die in the car."

Ms Lloyd said she believed her sister's dog Grizzly, a nine-year-old Labrador cross, would have died near her.

"I don't think he'd go too far away from her, I think he'd stay near her. He was really her baby," Ms Lloyd said.

"She'd had him since he was a few months old. He would have stayed close to her."

Ms Lloyd said she believed her sister had become hopelessly lost. She was known to have a terrible sense of direction and had only had a driver's licence for 18 months.

"She'd never driven out here before - whether or not she got in her car and went the wrong way, I don't know," she said.

"She had a very bad sense of direction."

Ms Lloyd said she wanted to thank two friends of her mother's in Chinchilla - Glenda Grey and Jim Austin - who spent an enormous amount of time looking for Kerry in the early years.

"They were incredible," she said.

"They saved my sanity I think. They put posters up everywhere. They rang all the property owners along that road, rang the service stations. Their support was incredible. You felt so helpless back then, in the early stages, but they were always coming up with ideas on what to do next.

"Otherwise I would have just felt like I was beating my head up against a brick wall."

Police will now do a DNA comparison test to determine whether the bones belong to Kerry.

Originally published as Bones may solve mystery of a sister 'hopelessly lost'


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