Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Yilmbut UMBUL

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Yilmbut UMBUL

Delivered on : 26 May 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Ms Umbul was a long term resident of Kalumburu Mission and she was last seen by other residents on the Mission on 1 March 1982. Ms Umbul was given some food at her camp and was described as pretty happy although she was noted to appear very weak and unwell. The next day she was not at her camp and she could not be found. At the time of her disappearance Ms Umbul was 73 years of age.

Ms Umbul was an elderly aboriginal lady who lived in Walmbie Camp over the King Edward River from Kalumburu Mission and she was supported by the Mission both in the supplying of food on a regular basis and medical attention. She was known to be comfortable living in a bush environment with her dogs.

Ms Umbul was reported missing from her camp and was in company with a number of dogs. A search was conducted and her tracks and those of two dogs which were travelling with her were found on the Walmbie camp side of the river and trackers followed them for some distance before they lost them. She appeared to be walking alright and she had rested from time to time. It was believed that Ms Umbul was surviving from food obtained from the bush and water from local sources which was plentiful at that time of the year. Her tracks indicated she appeared to be living within a four mile radius of the Walmbie camp and that the dogs were still with her. Aerial helicopter searchers located traces of what they believed to be three fires over a three day period. It was believed that Ms Umbul had her ground sheet, water can and matches. Despite extensive searching Ms Umbul was never located or seen again.

The Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Ms Umbul is deceased but was unable to determine how Ms Umbul died and made an Open Finding as to the manner of Ms Umbul’s death.

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

Last updated: 15-Jun-2020

[ back to top ]