Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Roly NIXON

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Roly Nixon

Delivered on : 3 February 2023

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Mr Nixon was last seen alive on 28 January 2018.  He was 44-years of age.  After considering a report from the Police Missing Persons Team, the Acting State Coroner advised the Commissioner of Police that, on the basis of the information in the police report, he had reasonable cause to suspect that Mr Nixon had died and that his death was a “reportable death” and directed that an inquest into the suspected death of Mr Nixon be conducted.  The inquest examined the circumstances of Mr Nixon’s disappearance and the issue of whether he was deceased.

On 26 January 2018, Mr Nixon, his partner and others travelled by car to Broome, where they did some shopping before going on to the Bayulu Community, near Fitzroy Crossing.  The following morning, Mr Nixon asked his partner to drive him to the Darlngunaya Community so he could visit his son.  Whilst at the community, Mr Nixon became angry when his partner could not find her purse and he damaged her vehicle.  After they left the community, Mr Nixon pulled the car’s rear vision mirror off, and his partner stopped the car and ordered him to get out, which he did.

Mr Nixon subsequently made his way to a house in Fitzroy Crossing where he drank alcohol and spent the night.  At about lunchtime on 28 January 2018, Mr Nixon reportedly left the home and he was later seen walking across the road from the Coles Express in Fitzroy Crossing in the general direction of the Kurnangki Community, about five km away by road.  Mr Nixon has not been seen since.

Mr Nixon’s partner reported him to police as a missing person on 11 February 2018.  After Mr Nixon’s disappearance, she had made a number of trips to Fitzroy Crossing to look for him but been unsuccessful.  When Mr Nixon failed to access his most recent Centrelink payment, she became concerned and contacted the police.

Police conducted an extensive investigation into Mr Nixon’s disappearance which included: aerial and land searches, door knocks, a media campaign and numerous proof of life checks.  Police also followed up several alleged sightings of Mr Nixon, and investigated two reports that his body had been located.  None of these enquiries identified any relevant information.

The coroner concluded that the evidence presented at the inquest established beyond all reasonable doubt that Mr Nixon died on or about 28 January 2018.  As Mr Nixon’s remains were never located, the coroner was obliged to find the cause of death was unascertained, and made an open finding as to the manner of death.

The coroner was satisfied that the police investigation into Mr Nixon’s disappearance was timely and comprehensive, and that all reasonable efforts (including the allocation of appropriate resources) were made to locate him.

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

Last updated: 17-Feb-2023

[ back to top ]