Lisa Marie Mott, age 12, left her home at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 1980, to go to the basketball courts on Throssell Street in Collie. At the time, she was accompanied by a friend and received her mother’s permission to attend court on the condition that she would be driven home by Lisa’s friend’s mother. This was just the third time Lisa had been let out at night, and on each of the prior occasions, she had gone to the basketball courts. Lisa spent her time at the basketball courts like most young girls would: shooting hoops, joking with her friends, and conversing with them.
Lisa and a buddy walked to a pizza store across from the basketball court around 8:45 p.m. and returned a few minutes later. Lisa began walking home at 9 p.m., with a buddy accompanying her for a portion of the journey. They strolled up Throssell Street before turning right onto Harvey Street and making their way to the railroad crossing. As Lisa had to return to the basketball courts, Lisa’s companion halted in this area and watched her cross the railroad tracks to Forrest Street.
Lisa was reportedly last seen that evening on Forrest Street conversing with an individual in a yellow panel van.
The driver of the yellow panel van has not come forward and despite extensive investigations by police, family, and comprehensive media coverage, there has been no information regarding her whereabouts since.
Lisa has been described as a thoughtful, kind, and perpetually cheerful child. Marion Powell, the mother of Lisa, recalled: “She was usually at my side, and we got along splendidly; children being children. There were ups and downs in her life, she played the clarinet, and I recall she was very content.”
Lisa Mott’s disappearance is the subject of numerous theories, the most prominent of which involves the serial killer duo David and Catherine Birnie. The Bernies were sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for kidnapping and murdering four young women. David Birnie had worked in the Collie area and was rumoured to have owned a vehicle similar to the one Lisa was driving when she vanished. The Birneys denied any role in Lisa’s disappearance in 1986. In 2005, David Birnie took his own life in prison.
Lisa has been missing for over four decades and would be 53 years old at this point. Lisa was described as a 12-year-old girl with a fair complexion, slim build, light brown hair, and hazel eyes who stood 152cm (5 feet) tall at the time of her abduction. Last seen wearing a light blue t-shirt, dark blue towelling shorts with white trim around the legs, and brown and fawn striped sneakers with white socks.
The Western Australian Government is offering a $1,000,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Lisa’s murder. The government may be willing to propose immunity from prosecution or a pardon for any informant whose information leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for Lisa Mott’s death, providing the informant was not directly responsible for Lisa’s death.
If you have any information regarding Lisa Marie Mott’s disappearance, please call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000. Please note that you can stay anonymous if you so choose, and that awards are available.