Today marks 50 years since the unsolved murder of Patricia ‘Suzie’ Schmidt.
Three weeks after finishing her leaving exam at Seacombe High School the 16-year old got a job at a Burger King so she could buy her family Christmas presents.
On Tuesday, 14 December 1971, Suzie worked her first ever night shift, which she had requested because of the penalty rates.
On Saturday 18 December she worked her second shift. Her father was to pick her up when she finished but was running 10 minutes late so she decided to walk home.
At about 1.45am on Saturday 18 December 1971 the teenager was seen leaving the Burger King Restaurant, on the corner of South Road and Marion Road, Darlington.
She was reported as a missing person at 9.30am that day after failing to return home.
When she went missing she was wearing black lace up boots, hot pants, a red jumper and an orange coat.
At about 6.30pm on Saturday 18 December 1971, Suzie’s body was located off a dirt track at Hallett Cove, south of Adelaide.
When she was found, she was only wearing the boots. The jumper and coat were draped over her body and her bra was hanging on a wire fence nearby.
There was evidence located at the scene indicating Miss Schmidt had been sexually assaulted before being murdered, but it is unknown where this occurred. It is likely she was murdered at a location away from where she was found.
Over the last 18 months, the DNA profile has now been obtained and uploaded to the national DNA database without resulting in a match, and will be immediately checked against any new profiles uploaded in the future. With DNA advancements, scientists are working to match the DNA profile to relatives who may already be on the database which will then create further investigation opportunities for detectives.
In addition, investigators continue to work methodically through the process of gathering DNA from all individuals identified as having some connection with the investigation since 1971 and will see if that DNA can be linked to the recently created DNA profile.
The process has resulted in a number of people being excluded as persons of interest and identified several possible familial matches to people on the database who may be related to the offenders.
A reward of up to $1,000,000 remains on offer to anyone who provides information leading to a conviction in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestopperssa.com.au