On a dark winter night in 1986, Sharron Phillips was driving along an industrial road on the outskirts of Brisbane when her car ran out of petrol. First the 20-year-old tried getting help from a nearby Army barracks, before finding a payphone to reverse call a friend. When he failed to arrive, she called again. When the friend finally arrived, Phillips was gone, marking the beginning of a 30-year hunt for the truth.
Now, in her first TV Interview, Phillips' sister Donna Anderson has said she wants a new inquest into her sister’s death. Speaking to A.B.C.’s 7.30, Anderson said she has suspicions that their father Bob Phillips was responsible for Sharron's disappearance.
"I always thought that when her friend hadn't turned up she would have rung Dad,” Anderson has said.
Bob Phillips had told police that he was 750km away in N.S.W. with his wife Dawn at the time of Sharron’s disappearance.
"I thought he was at home in bed … or at home … and I honestly thought, because I repeated that to people,” Donna Anderson has said. "None of us knew he had that alibi that night. To me, that was the first alarm bell. That whole story is absurd anyway. That's why from the start, I don't know why just a couple of questions couldn't have been asked.”
At the time of Bob Anderson’s death last year, Donna Anderson discovered that others amongst her eight siblings believed their father had been involved in Sharron’s death. She now wants police to look for her sister’s grave at the family’s old home in Ipswich.
Detective Bob Dallow, who worked as a detective on the case in the 80s, has also alleged that five years after Sharron went missing, his wife was approached by the girls' mother.
"She grabbed my wife and said to her that Bob had killed Sharron and put her in a box, and she wanted him to kill her too,” Detective Dallow has said.
This week police began excavating a site at Carole Park on an industrial estate after they got a tip off from a member of the public. No charges have ever been laid however there is still a $250,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.