8 January 2024

Missing for 16 years, but somebody must know something about Laura

| Ian Bushnell
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Laura Haworth

Laura Haworth was last seen in Queanbeyan in 2008. Photo: ACT Policing.

Queanbeyan woman Laura Haworth disappeared without a trace on this day 16 years ago, but police are hoping the anniversary will jog people’s memories to come forward with new information that will shed light on her whereabouts.

Laura was last seen at a friend’s house in Collett Street, Queanbeyan, on 5 January 2008. The then-23-year-old mother of two left in her red Mazda 121 and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Her car was later found on 18 January parked at Kanangra Court in Reid.

The weekend she disappeared was also when the annual motor festival Summernats brought thousands of visitors to the ACT, and police are also hoping that there may be some in town for this year’s event who may have been in Canberra then.

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Detective Senior Constable Shannon Pugsley said they might recall something that could help the police investigation.

“It is possible that there was somebody who attended from interstate and they might have seen something and they have information regarding Laura’s whereabouts that they don’t even realise,” she said.

“So we’re just asking people with friends or family who visited to cast their minds back to January 2008, have those conversations with those people and if they saw anything, just to come forward and report it to police.”

red Mazda 121

Laura’s red Mazda was found in Reid on 18 January 2008.

Laura’s disappearance was inexplicable, especially as she had two young children, aged two and three, a happy family life and was on her way to work but never arrived.

She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and Detective Senior Constable Pugsley said Laura’s mental health was one of many factors in the investigation.

She said Laura had left no electronic traces such as purchases or bank transactions.

Police had considered the possibility that she had met with foul play but there had not been any suggestions of that happening.

As a matter of course, all people known to Laura had been considered in the investigation.

“With any longtime missing persons that is an aspect that is considered and we do look at all avenues,” Detective Senior Constable Pugsley said.

“We’re just hoping that in this cas, Laura is found safe and well.”

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She said each new call for information had borne fruit and police believed there were people in the community that knew something about Laura’s whereabouts and her movements that weekend in January 2008.

“Over the years we’ve done a number of calls for information and each each time information we’ve obtained we have followed up on again,” Detective Senior Constable Pugsley said.

“We’re just trying to get those answers for Laura’s family and we’re hoping that any new piece of information could be the missing piece in the puzzle.”

She said Laura’s disappearance had taken a toll on her family.

“Obviously, over the past 16 years Laura’s family has had to live with a significant emotional impact of not knowing what has happened to Laura,” Detective Senior Constable Pugsley said.

“So we’re just hoping that we can get the closure for them that they deserve and they’re hopeful that Laura will be found safe and well.”

woman standing in street near flags

Detective Senior Constable Shannon Pugsley said police believed there were people in the community who know something about Laura’s disappearance. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Police released a statement from Laura’s parents.

“Sixteen years ago today, our lives changed unexpectedly. Our beautiful Laura disappeared. Laura is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend and we ache to know what has happened to her,” they said.

“Any information you, or anyone you know has, will help piece this puzzle together.

“Every day we live with what ifs, whys, and maybes. The pain of not knowing what has happened to Laura is brutal and has a huge impact on our daily lives.

“Laura’s family thank those who have already provided information and encourage anyone else with information to report it to Crime Stoppers.

“With your help, we will get the answers.

“Laura we love you and miss you. You have a loving family waiting for news, please, please be in touch.”

Police had not yet considered posting a reward for information.

Anyone with information about Laura’s disappearance should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website, quoting reference number 3719859. Information can be provided anonymously.

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Laura Haworth’s car was found parked at Kanangra Court in Reid after she went missing. Kanangra Court is a spread out but small housing estate.
Everyone knows everyone and nothing stays secret for very long at Kanangra Court!

Cast your minds back to January 2008. Have conversations with those people who may have seen anything and report it to police.
Information can be reported anonymously.

Someone knows something!!

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