Muswellbrook resident Kylie Spelde still haunted by sister Janine Vaughan’s disappearance at Bathurst

STILL SEEKING ANSWERS: Muswellbrook resident Kylie Spelde with her daughters Livia Spelde, 11 months, and Taylor Curnuck.
STILL SEEKING ANSWERS: Muswellbrook resident Kylie Spelde with her daughters Livia Spelde, 11 months, and Taylor Curnuck.

“THERE is not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.”

On the 15th anniversary of Janine Vaughan’s disappearance, Muswellbrook resident Kylie Spelde has made an impassioned plea to anyone who might know the whereabouts, or what happened, to her beloved sister.

It’s the answer to a question she’s been asking since December 7, 2001.

Mrs Vaughan, who grew up in Muswellbrook and went to school at Scone, ventured out with friends to a Bathurst nightclub.

After enjoying a night of drinking and dancing, she hopped into a vehicle but was never seen again.

Two police strike forces, a Police Integrity Commission inquiry and a coronial inquest all failed to provide any clues as to who was driving the car she got into – or what occurred next.

However, Mrs Spelde has never given up hope of finding her sibling.

“We want to heal our hearts, however it’s hard when a piece of it is missing.

Kylie Spelde

“There’s security footage of Janine leaving the premises and witnesses indicated to police she got into a car,” she said.

“Unfortunately, that’s where the trail ends.

“We’ve placed ads in papers and tried other things, without any luck.

“But, even after all these years, I’m hoping someone might have some information.

“I still want to find out what happened to Janine – I need to know.

“We always had a great time together, that’s my fondest memory.

“She loved life so much; and a lot of her family and friends still live in Muswellbrook.

“We also have a plaque in her memory at the town’s cemetery.

“It’s not the same, however, because you know no-one’s there.”

Mrs Spelde said the month of December hit the family members the hardest.

Janine Vaughan

Janine Vaughan

“When Janine disappeared, my brother and I had already bought her a Christmas gift,” she told the Chronicle.

“Each year, we place the same present under the tree for her.

“It’s always the first one there.

“However, I re-wrap [the present] and rewrite the gift card every 12 months, just in case she comes back.” 

Mrs Spelde admitted the incident had changed her as a person.

“It’s played a big part in my life because there’s no closure,” she said.

“It has put a strain on relationships, as you don’t trust anyone, and torments me [and our family] every day.

“I’ve been to counsellor after counsellor, but I don’t want to forget her.

“We want to heal our hearts, however it’s hard when a piece of it is missing.

“Our mum, as well as two lots of grandparents, passed away without knowing.

“And, even though my daughters understand what’s going on, they’ve never met their auntie.”

Police urge anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.