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The trip a lifetime that ended in a life tragically taken

Posted on 28/11/2019

Anna Rosa Liva was an Italian national who was in Australia on a backpacker adventure of a lifetime.

The experienced traveller from Pordenone, in northern Italy, arrived on a bus at Coober Pedy from Alice Springs at 10pm on 27 November 1991.

She booked into accommodation on Olive St, just off Hutchinson St – the town’s main thoroughfare.

That night the accommodation was full of backpackers eager to explore the Outback town. It is unknown whether she went out that night but, at 8am the next morning – ­ 28 November – Anna ate breakfast at the Last Resort Cafe a few hundred metres from her accommodation and left around 8.45am.

By 9.15am, she had returned to her accommodation and had a cup of coffee and spoke to staff. She told staff that she planned to go “noodling’’ for opals – a term she is suspected to have picked up during a conversation with a local.

There was an unconfirmed sighting of Anna at 9.30am when a local saw a woman matching her description in Edward St, off Hutchinson St.

Her last confirmed sighting was at 11.30am at the council chambers, at the corner of St Nicholas and Hutchinson streets.

She had been seeking tourist information and had a conversation with a worker about a common interest – the Jehovah’s Witness religion. She had made plans to go to a meeting of Jehovah’s Witness’ at 7pm that night in Coober Pedy.

She also collected information about a Jehovah’s Witness establishment at Ingle Farm and obtained a map of Coober Pedy.

Police suspect that she disappeared shortly after leaving the council chambers and never returned to her accommodation, which was only about 300m down Hutchinson St.

Police believe it is most likely that she had a discussion with someone and went willingly with her killer.

Her body is believed to have been disposed of in one of the thousands of disused mineshafts that surround the Far North town. More than a dozen shafts near where Anna was last seen have been searched and nothing located.

A reward of up to $200,000 remains on offer to anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction or the recovery of Anna’s remains.


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