Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for public assistance following the disappearance of Ballarat teenager Sherrlynn Mitchell in 1973.
The then 16-year-old was last seen at her home on Eyre Street in Ballarat on Thursday 22 November.
Police were told she was due to meet a friend at a bus stop in Ballarat but failed to show up.
Sherrlynn did not return to her workplace at the Ballarat Woollen Mills and did not collect her wages or holiday pay.
Her friends and family have not seen or heard from her since.
In 2010, the Victoria Police Belier Taskforce used DNA testing to determine whether the body of a woman found in the United States seven years after Sherrlynn disappeared, could be her.
However, the body later proved to be someone else.
In 2020, Ballarat detectives received samples of both Sherrlynn’s and her now deceased mother’s hair. The samples were sent to the Victoria Police Forensics Unit and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine for examination, and a partial DNA sample was obtained.
Detectives followed up a number of possible DNA matches in Australia, however no matches were found.
Sherrlynn’s mother passed away in 2016, with her two brothers the only remaining family members.
At the time of her disappearance, Sherrlynn was described as 165cm tall with a medium build, red hair, hazel eyes and a fair complexion.
Police have released a computer-generated image of what Sherrlynn could look like now in the hope someone recognises her and can provide information.
Anyone with information about Sherrlynn is asked to contact Ballarat Police Station on 03 5336 6000 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report via www.crimestoppersvic.com.auExternal Link.
Quotes attributable to Detective Acting Sergeant Andrew Barnes – Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit:
“Police have exhausted all known avenues of enquiry after Sherrlynn’s disappearance almost 50 years ago. However, we are determined to find out what happened to her so we can end the trauma for her family and loved ones.
“While there is nothing at this time to indicate Sherrlynn’s disappearance was suspicious, police are keen to speak to anyone who has more information about her movements over the years or where she may be now.
“Sherrlynn, if you are out there – it is not a crime to disappear and police will not disclose your whereabouts to anyone if that is your wish – we just want to know that you are safe.”