Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Victoria Leigh McCLOY

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Victoria Leigh McCLOY

Delivered on : 23 February 2022

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : On 22 November 2019, Ms Victoria McCloy left her home in Northam with her boyfriend for a weekend fishing and camping trip to Albany.  They were expected to return to Northam on the evening of 24 November 2019, but they failed to do so.  On the morning of 25 November 2019, their families became aware that they had not returned and alerted the authorities.  Ms McCloy was 22 years old when she went missing and was last seen alive on 23 November 2019.

Ms McCloy and her boyfriend lived together with Ms McCloy’s mother in Northam.  Ms McCloy and her boyfriend had a close and loving relationship and were active and fit.  The couple planned to camp and fish from a rocky cliff area in Albany but did not indicate the exact location.  They knew the Albany area well, having lived in Albany for six months in 2019.  On Friday 22 November 2019 at approximately 12.30 pm, the couple left Northam in Ms McCloy’s black Holden Barina for a weekend fishing and camping trip in Albany.  At 9.30 pm that evening Ms McCloy texted her mother a message advising they had arrived in Albany.  This was the last known contact Ms McCloy made to her family.

It was established through receipts, CCTV footage and witness accounts that the couple had been shopping at three stores in Albany to buy fishing gear between 9.30 and 10.30 am on the morning of 23 November 2019.  This appears to be the last known time that they were seen alive.  A friend of Ms McCloy received a Snapchat photograph on Saturday 23 November 2019, late in the morning, which showed the couple fishing at the location where the couple’s camping gear was later found.

When the couple failed to return home, Ms McCloy’s mother contacted the Albany Police Station to make a missing person report.  Ms McCloy’s mother also contacted her sister, who lived in Albany.  Mc McCloy’s aunt drove out to the Bald Head carpark and located Ms McCloy’s car parked in the carpark, but there was no sign of Ms McCloy or her boyfriend.

Police commenced a search on the morning of 25 November 2019, which included volunteer marine search and rescue vessels off the coastline at Isthmus Hill Beach East.  They searched the rocks and cliff faces.  Rangers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions began walking the Bald Head track.  A more extensive search was conducted on 26 November 2019, where searchers found items belonging to the couple.  The search on 27 November 2019 was suspended in the afternoon due to the inclement weather.  During the afternoon of 29 November 2019, a ranger from DBCA found the body of Ms McCloy’s boyfriend washed up on Isthmus Beach West.  Police divers arrived in Albany on 30 November 2019 and searched the around the main rocky outcrop on 1 December 2019, but Ms McCloy was not found.  Further searches were conducted, but McMcCloy has never been found.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Ms McCloy died on or about 23 November 2019 and that her death was most likely due to drowning but could not rule out that she may have been injured in some other way from the rocks and so thecause of death remains as unascertained.  The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied that the manner of Ms McCloy’s death was by way of accident.

Catch Words Missing Person : Land and sea Search : Accident

Last updated: 19-Mar-2022

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