Rachel's diary notes reveal sexual relationship with Hytch

John Antonio with his mother and father, Cheryl and Ian Antonio.
John Antonio with his mother and father, Cheryl and Ian Antonio. Daily Mercury

SECRET diary notes allegedly written by missing Bowen teenager Rachel Antonio, which were found when police searched her room, have been tendered in court for the first time.

The notes describe a secret and sexual relationship with an older man Robert Hytch, who Rachel knew from the Surf Life Saving Club.

As well as an alleged sexual relationship between Rachel Antonio and Robert Hytch, diary notes also described a fight the Bowen teenager had with her family on June 6, 1997.

Rachel wrote about crying all night and trying to hurt herself physically because she was hurting so much on the inside.

"I was so hurt, upset and angry I began trying to hurt myself. I guess it was because I was hurting so much on the inside," the notes read.

Rachel's mother, Cheryl Antonio, while being questioned by barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, said this was "out of character".

"It's nothing like her," Mrs Antonio said.

She described Rachel as "happy", "bubbly", "good natured" and dedicated to her health and fitness.

Rachel had wanted a career in the defence force, the Coroner's Court was told.

She was a member of the Bowen Surf Life Saving club which she joined in September 1995 and also attended air cadets.

Barrister for Robert Hytch, Harvey Walters, suggested to Mrs Antonio that Rachel had told a woman named "Dawn", who the court heard had been in a relationship with Ian Antonio's brother, that a family member had "interfered" with her. Mrs Antonio denied these allegations.

It was also suggested to Ian Antonio that he had told police he believed his brother might have taken Rachel.

"I was clutching at straws at that time in the investigation," Mr Antonio said.

Mr Walters asked Mrs Antonio "why didn't you go and look for her... when she didn't come back" on the night she disappeared on April 25, 1998.

Mrs Antonio had been expecting Rachel back after 9pm. She said they'd had car trouble and "you don't drive around with one headlight".

Topics:  bowen court crime editors picks rachel antonio

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