Police search homes for clues in 1974 cold case

Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974.
Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974. Contributed

TWO rural properties on the Darling Downs have been searched in relation to a renewed police investigation into the 1974 disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters.

Mrs McCulkin and her daughters Leanne and Vicki disappeared from Highgate Hill, Brisbane home on the night of January 16, 1974. 

They have not been heard from since and their bodies have never been located.

Police renewed their investigation in January this year with a renewed focus on the motive for the suspected murders.

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Cold case investigators converged on the two Warwick properties today assisted by regional detectives and Crime and Corruption investigators.

"We believe the search of these properties may help us corroborate crucial information gathered during this renewed investigation," Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan of the Homicide Group said.

Investigators received significant new evidence as a result of the appeal made by Barbara's family with homicide detectives on the 40th anniversary of their disappearance in January this year.

"Detectives have interviewed potential witnesses across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria and have uncovered compelling new evidence surrounding events that took place on the day of their disappearance and subsequent murders," Detective Superintendent Holahan said.

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"Based on the evidence collected, we now believe we have identified several motives for their murders.

"Barbara McCulkin may have had knowledge about serious crimes and the young McCulkin girls may have been sexually assaulted."

Investigations are continuing to focus on information and persons of interest identified in the original investigation and coroner's inquest held in 1980.

Topics:  barbara mcculkin cold case police warwick

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