Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Jennie Anne KEHLET and the Death of Raymond Keith KEHLET

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Jennie Anne KEHLET and the Death of Raymond Keith KEHLET


Delivered on : 10 May 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : State Coroner Fogliani

Recommendations : Yes

I recommend that the Western Australia Police Force consider the appropriateness and viability of appointing two search and rescue coordinators as part of the Forward Command at the site in LandSAR operations in regional and/or remote areas, and that at least one of the search and rescue coordinators at the site is from the Emergency Operations Unit.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

There be no publication of any names or details which would identify any of the police officers in the video (Exhibit 1 Tab 24) shown in open court between 10.14 to 10.29 am on Tuesday 14 February 2020.

The police officer referred to in the witness statement at Exhibit 2 Tan 32 be referred to as Officer AB.

Summary : On 19 March 2015 Mr Raymond Kehlet and Mrs Jennie Kehlet left their farm in Beverley with their dog on a planned prospecting trip to Sandstone with a friend and colleague.  They travelled in separate vehicles.

Mr and Mrs Kehlet met their friend at Wubin as planned and then the three of them drove to Payne’s Find to top up on petrol before heading towards Sandstone.  They set up camp at a location known as “Bell’s Camp” approximately 30 kilometres south of Sandstone, and 1.5 kilometres off the unsealed Paynes Find-Sandstone Road.  Mr and Mrs Kehlet had not disclosed their proposed camping location to their family.

On 22 March 2015 Mr and Mrs Kehlet’s friend returned to Perth on his own.

Concerns were raised in late March 2015 when family members failed to make contact with Mr and Mrs Kehlet.  Inquiries were commenced on 31 March 2015, and on the next day the WA Police Force implemented a land search and rescue operation.

On 8 April 2015 the body of Mr Kehlet was discovered at the bottom of a disused mineshaft approximately 1.8 kilometres north of their campsite.  He was deceased.

There has been no sighting or trace of Mrs Kehlet.  The State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Mrs Kehlet is deceased and that she died tragically at or about the same time as Mr Kehlet.  The State Coroner made an Open Finding as to the manner of her death.

The State Coroner found in respect to Mr Kehlet’s death that his injuries were not accidental and that his death occurred as a result of Homicide by a person or persons unknown.

The State Coroner made a recommendation which would assist future LandSAR operations in regional and/or remote areas.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR): Report to Director of Public Prosecutions : Open Finding : Homicide

Last updated: 21-May-2021

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