Police release image of vehicle linked to disappearance of teens – Strike Force Arapaima

Detectives investigating the disappearance – and suspected murder – of three Lake Macquarie teenage girls have released an image of a vehicle which is similar to the one they believe may be linked to two of the cases.

In April 2019, Lake Macquarie detectives established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine the investigation into the unsolved disappearances and suspected murders of Robyn Hickie, Amanda Robinson and Gordana Kotevski.

Robyn Hickie, aged 18, left her home around 7.15pm on Saturday 7 April 1979, and was last seen standing at a bus stop on the Pacific Highway, Belmont North.

A fortnight later, Amanda Robinson, aged 14, was last seen on Saturday 21 April 1979, also near a bus stop on Lake Road, Swansea, after attending a dance at her high school in Gateshead.

About 9pm on Thursday 24 November 1994, Gordana Kotevski, aged 16, was forced into a vehicle on Powell Street, Charlestown, while walking from Charlestown Square Shopping Centre to her aunt’s home on the same road.

Despite extensive investigations at the time, and over the years, none of the girls have been located.

A subsequent Coronial Inquest into their disappearances found that the girls were deceased, most likely as a result of foul play.

As part of ongoing investigations, strike force detectives have identified a vehicle which they believe may be linked to the disappearance and suspected murder of both Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson.

They have released an image of a similar vehicle, which is described as a distinct green-coloured, mid-1970s four-door Holden Torana sedan.

Lake Macquarie Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Greg Thomas, said this is a significant new lead in the investigation of these cases.

“We are hoping anyone who was living in the Lake Macquarie region in the late 1970s may have a recollection of this Holden Torana, in particular in the month of April 1979.

“We understand it’s been 40 years since Robyn and Amanda’s disappearances, however, we are seeking assistance from anyone who may even have moved to a different state or who may have some memory of this vehicle to come forward to police – you can remain anonymous through Crime Stoppers if you wish.

“It may seem like small or insignificant information from decades past – but it could help investigators solve these cases,” Det Ch Insp Thomas said.

Investigations under Strike Force Arapaima continue.

Anyone with information about any of these cold cases is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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