Search for DNA: Police retesting evidence in Annette Deverell cold case

WA Police are retesting evidence connected to Annette Deverell's cold case death in an effort to solve the almost 40-year-old crime.

In September, Annette's family asked for help from WA Police and the community to find out what happened to the bubbly teenager, ahead of Mandurah Mail's four-part podcast, Annette: Cold Case Unlocked.

On Saturday, September 13, 1980, Annette partied with her friends at the pub, left to buy a packet of cigarettes and vanished.

Initially, police treated the 19-year-old's disappearance as a missing person's case. But her friends and family had no reason to think she would run away.

Two years later, their worst fears were realised when her skull and bone fragments were found in Pinjarra bushland, about 30 kilometres from where she was last seen.

In March 2019, WA Police told the Mail Annette's bag, found in bushland a month after her remains were discovered, and a blood-stained towel, found near her Mandurah home on the night she disappeared, were still held in police storage.


WA Police Cold Case Homicide Squad officer in charge Senior Sergeant Tony Rosenberg has confirmed to the Mail items would be sent to PathWest for testing in the next few weeks.

He said he was hopeful the latest forensic technology could uncover clues and much-needed answers for the family.

Senior Sergeant Rosenberg said he had also been in contact with retired detective Jeff Beaman, who reviewed Annette's case in 1999.


Annette's brother Michael 'Digger' Deverell said he wanted the case to be reviewed.

"The fact that police are retesting the evidence is incredible - we hope DNA will be detected," he said.

"We don't want the case to be forgotten again.

"So many people have come forward to me with information that they'd never before reported to police.

"There needs to be a full-time officer on the case to look into these new leads."

In December 2019, the state government announced a $250,000 reward for information in a bid for answers.

This also included potential immunity from prosecution for the informer, provided he or she was not directly responsible for Annette's death.

Mr Deverell said the family had written to the state coroner in October 2019 asking for a coronial inquest to be conducted.

A WA Police spokeswoman said the case was open and active.

If you have information that could help police solve the case, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.