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Dozens of tips from people wanting to help catch a killer

Posted on 27/09/2022

Whether it’s the enduring mystery of the missing Beaumont children, the ongoing hunt for long-time fugitive Stuart Pearce, or a more recent murder in the local community, Crime Stoppers has received dozens of contacts since the beginning of this year from people wanting to help advance or solve some of the State’s most heinous crimes.

Crime Stoppers South Australia CEO, Mr Nigel Smart, said the independent charity had received more than 153 contacts specifically about murder investigations, including cold case homicides, since 1 January 2022.

“While Crime Stoppers wants information about every type of crime, when a murder occurs it certainly strikes at the very heart of the community – especially when it involves an elderly or very young victim – and that’s why plenty of people are prepared to step up to do the right thing,” Mr Smart said.

“We know that one piece of information – no matter how small – can make a big difference to an investigation. By giving people the opportunity to share what they know without saying who they are or putting themselves at risk of harm they can make a real difference, and our thanks goes to those who have contacted Crime Stoppers with a tip,” he said.

“Most importantly, we want the family and friends of victims to know that Crime Stoppers remains committed to working with police and the community to help identify those responsible and find answers about what happened to their loved one, no matter how long the passage of time has been.”

Since the beginning of this year, Crime Stoppers has received:

  • 19 contacts in response to a call for information after the death of grandmother, Angela Berecz, at Blanchetown was declared a major crime.
  • 23 contacts about murdered man Peter Hillier at Venus Bay, with information shared with Crime Stoppers leading police to the potential murder scene and the arrest of a person.
  • 4 contacts following the killing of young mother, Synamin Bell, at Millicent. A male has been arrested and charged with her murder.
  • 11 contacts about the cold case murder of teenager, Patricia Schmidt, who was last seen leaving her work at the Burger King Restaurant at Darlington on 14 December 1971. Her body was found four days later on a track at Darlington and the person responsible is yet to be caught.
  • 4 contacts about the whereabouts of wanted man, Stuart Pearce, who continues to evade police. A warrant for his arrest was issued after the bodies of his wife and three of his children were found in the remains of their gutted Parafield Gardens home in 1991.
  • More than 60 contacts in response to a plea for information to assist Taskforce Southern investigators, who continue to hunt those responsible for the murders or suspected murders of Robert Atkins, Trevor King and Jeff Mundy.

“We thank the many people who continue to put their trust in Crime Stoppers by sharing what they know with us so we can provide that information to police on their behalf,” Mr Smart said.

More than 10,000 calls to the Crime Stoppers hotline and 2,200 online tips were received between 1 January and 30 June 2022, resulting in 211 apprehensions and 460 charges being laid for an array of serious crimes. Highlights included the seizure of 27 firearms, more than 70,000 cannabis street deals stopped and over 1,300 street deals of amphetamine stopped.

If you have any information about unsolved crime or suspicious activity, then call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to https://crimestopperssa.com.au




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