Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Desmond Francis CARR

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Desmond Francis CARR

Delivered on : 11 August 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Mr Desmond Car disappeared on 2 August 1979 having been last seen in the afternoon on his road roller on the main road, approximately 9 kms south of Thangoo Station, which is approximately 90 kms south of Broome.  At the time of his disappearance, Mr Carr was employed by the Main Roads Department to operate a Road Roller, and was living with other workers at the Main Roads work camp.  He was 32 years old at the time.

On 2 August 1979 Mr Car was to collected from work location at the end of the day, but when his colleague arrived at 4.00 pm there was no sign of Mr Carr.  The road roller’s engine was still running and n the same location it had been seen at 3.00 pm.  A brief search was undertaken but no trace of Mr Carr could be found.  It was thought that Mr Carr may have made his way back to the camp as he was feeling unwell.  However, when the workers returned to the camp, there was no sign of Mr Carr.

On the morning of 3 August 1979 Mr Carr was reported as missing to the Derby Police Station who notified the Broome Police Station.  Broome police attended the Main Roads camp in the afternoon on the same day.  Police noted Mr Carr’s Holden station wagon was still parked at the camp.  Mr Carr’s living quarters were searched and no notes were found or any indication that Mr Carr had not intended to return to the camp.  There was an amount of money on the dresser and all his clothes were still there.

On the same day, police commenced a search from where the steamroller Mr Carr was driving was located.  An air search by plane was commenced on 6 August 1979 consisting of a pilot and two lookouts, but nothing of note was identified.  Mr Carr’s father and sister flew to Broome and assisted with the search.  The searches were unsuccessful and Mr Car has never been found.  The details of Mr Carr’s disappearance have been continually published in the media for a number of years, including newspapers, police circulars, radio shows and on national television.  An episode of Australia’s Most Wanted on or about 14 June 1989 also covered Mr Carr’s disappearance.  In addition, a recent podcast and social media postings have kept Mr Carr’s disappearance in the public domain.

In November 2019, an officer in the Homicide Squad Missing Persons Team completed a report in relation to the disappearance. and suspected death of Mr Carr.  The report concluded that Mr Carr was likely to have died on or about the day he disappeared.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Mr Carr is deceased and was satisfied that Mr Carr died on or about the time of his disappearance on 2 August 1979.  The Deputy State Coroner was unable to determine how the deceased and made an Open Finding as to the manner of Mr Carr’s death.

Catch Words : Long Term Missing Person : Land and Air Search : Open Finding

Last updated: 12-Nov-2021

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