31 July 2022

Renewed plea to solve the 42-year-old mystery of Elizabeth Herfort

| Claire Fenwicke
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Elizabeth Herfort

Elizabeth Herfort went missing on 13 June, 1980, after going to ANU Bar in Acton with friends. Photo: ACT Policing.

It was a typical June long weekend when Elizabeth Herfort vanished without a trace.

She had come home to Canberra to visit family and friends, and on the night of 13 June, 1980, she went out to the Australian National University Bar in Acton.

That was the last confirmed sighting of the 18-year-old.

A woman matching Elizabeth’s description was seen hitchhiking on the south-bound carriageway that led to Commonwealth Avenue.

It’s believed she was given a lift in a vehicle along Commonwealth Avenue to the intersection of Coronation Drive.

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Elizabeth’s ACT Policing’s focus for this year’s National Missing Person’s Week, which runs in the first week of August each year.

Missing Person’s Team’s Leading Senior Constable Colleen McKillop said there had been no new information about where Elizabeth could have disappeared to in a very long time.

“Elizabeth had a very reliable personality, she’d check in and let her mum know where she was, this was very out of character for her,” she said.

“It’s one of [Canberra’s] missing person’s cases that has very little information forthcoming.”

A different long-term missing person was profiled each year as part of National Missing Person’s Week to raise awareness and hopefully answers to those family and friends left behind.

“There’s always the chance we could receive the smallest piece of information that could change the course of the investigation,” Leading Snr Const McKillop said.

“Until we know what happened, she’ll never be taken off our list.”

There are currently 15 long-term missing persons for the ACT, with public information available about nine of them. Information about any of them can be provided at any time. Photo: ACT Policing.

Detective Acting Inspector Paul Reynolds said there was at least one person out there who knew what happened to Elizabeth.

“That’s why it’s so important to renew the focus [on Elizabeth],” he said.

“Someone may have been sitting on this information for the past 42 years.”

The slightest piece of information could be of help in ways a witness couldn’t expect.

“For example, someone may have seen her get out of a different coloured car, or walk off in a different direction,” Det Act Insp Reynolds said.

“We may need your information to give context to information we already have.”

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Leading Snr Const McKillop spoke recently with Elizabeth’s family, and she said they had never given up hope that one day they might find out what happened to their beloved daughter and sister.

“They live in hope that someday they will get answers,” she said.

“They just never want her to be forgotten.”

Det Act Insp Reynolds said officers would continue to search for Elizabeth until “credible information” surfaced which suggested otherwise.

“Two groups of people will never forget these [missing] people – their loved ones and police,” he said.

If you have any information regarding Elizabeth Herfort, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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