The 70-year-old husband of Lynette Dawson, who went missing from Sydney almost four decades ago, has been charged with her murder.
Queensland police arrested former Newtown Jets rugby league player and high school teacher Chris Dawson, a long-time person of interest in his wife’s disappearance, at his home in Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast on Wednesday morning. He was soon extradited to the custody of NSW Police.
The arrest would have come as relief for Ms Dawson’s family, including her brother Lake Macquarie man Greg Simms.
The family requested privacy on Wednesday, but Mr Simms told the Newcastle Herald in September he wanted “justice for our sister”.
“It’s always there, it’s always hanging over your head and a weight on your shoulders,” he said.
“It’s something you do learn to live with, but every time something comes up, you lose a little bit of yourself.
“It’s just like having a hollow feeling in your stomach all the time. You’re wondering whether this is the day that you get a result.”
Mr Dawson, who was the subject of investigative podcast The Teacher’s Pet, applied for bail on Wednesday but it was refused.
The arrest came after detectives requested in April that the Department of Public Prosecutions review its brief of evidence. Detectives from the NSW Police Unsolved Homicide Squad established Strike Force Scriven in 2015 to investigate the disappearance of the 33-year-old mother of two.
Ms Dawson has not been seen since she vanished from Sydney’s northern beaches in early January, 1982.
You’re wondering whether this is the day that you get a result.Greg Simms, Lynette Dawson's brother, speaking in September, 2018.
She was reported missing more than a month after she was last seen.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Wednesday was an important step towards justice for Ms Dawson and her family.
Read more: Walk for Lynette Dawson at Newcastle
He said Ms Dawson’s family members were “certainly relieved to hear this result”.
NSW Homicide Squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said a team of “dedicated detectives” had been investigating the case for the past three years.
“The resolve of the Unsolved Homicide Unit detectives shows that they will continue to search for the truth, no matter how many years may pass,” he said.