Julie Cutler has been missing in Perth for 30 years. The 22-year-old was last seen leaving the Parmelia Hilton Hotel in the Perth CBD around 12.30am on June 20, 1988, after a staff event. At Cottesloe beach two days later, her car was found in the water.
The four-door Fiat only had a few champagne glasses from the Parmelia Hilton. Nothing else of note was found inside the car.
No clothes or other things. No body. The back seat of the car had washed up on the beach. No one has ever found the shoulder bag that Ms. Cutler was known to carry.
But no one has been charged in the case so far, and Ms. Cutler’s body has never been found.
In an interview Mr. Carey, who worked for WA Police for 30 years, talked about the mystery that has been going on for 30 years.
He thinks that if he says something, someone in the community who knows what happened might finally speak up after all these years.
Before he retired in 2005, Mr. Carey worked his way up to the rank of superintendent. He became interested in the case when he was sent to Cottesloe beach on the day Ms. Cutler’s car was found.
He was a senior detective at the time.
“When we heard that a car with Ms. Cutler’s name on it had been found in the water at Cottesloe beach, I guess we thought the worst and thought we might find her body inside the car,” he said.
“When the car was found to be empty, we started to look into what had happened to her in earnest.”
Over the next few days, Mr. Carey looked through the 22-year-house, old’s talked to her coworkers and hotel guests, and went through her car with a fine-tooth comb.
“Once we got Julie’s car back, we were able to figure out that one of the back doors couldn’t be locked,” he said.
“So we looked into the idea that someone might have hidden in the back seat of the car while it was parked at the hotel and forced her to drive somewhere.”
Mr. Carey said that some time after the 22-year-old went missing, police got information that she might have left the Parmelia and gone to the Burswood Casino.
“We went there, but the CCTV didn’t go all the way back to the night she went missing,” he said.
“In the months after Julie went missing, we talked to a lot of people in the hopes that we could figure out what happened to her.
“No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
The former police officer thinks that Ms. Cutler died sometime between 12:30 a.m. on June 20 and the start of the day on June 21.
“Between the time Julie left the Parmelia Hotel and when the sun came up, I think someone must have done something,” he said.
“We figured that for the car to have ended up in the ocean, it must have been driven or rolled straight off the wall and into the water, where it floated for a moment before being pushed out by the waves and sinking to the ocean floor.
“We came to that conclusion because there was no sign of the car on the beach when the regular swimmers showed up at dawn to do their daily workouts.
“That night, there were strong winds and rain, so much so that the waves were hitting the Cottesloe Surf Club’s retaining wall.
“It had to go into the water that night because the next day the water had gone down and the tide had gone out, leaving a wide gap of sand between the edge of the retaining wall and the surf.”
Mr. Carey said that he was sure Ms. Cutler was not in the car when it sank.
He said this was because nothing that belonged to her was ever found on the ocean floor or on the beach.
“Knowing that the back seat of her car was able to get to the beach, we would have thought that if Julie had been in the car, something of hers would have washed up.” “he said.
The former police officer said he often wondered if there was someone who could have helped solve the case in 1988 but didn’t say anything.
“After all these years, I still wonder if that person existed. If so, maybe their relationship with the person or people responsible for Julie’s disappearance has changed or gotten worse to the point where he or she no longer feels the need to keep quiet,” he said.
“Since that’s the case, I want those people to do what’s right.”
The Cold Case Homicide Squad’s Senior Sergeant Quentin Flatman said that police were still determined to find out what happened to Ms. Cutler.
“The Cold Case Homicide Squad is still looking into the strange disappearance of Julie Cutler in 1988 “he said. “The WA Police Force is determined to solve this and other cases of missing people who have been missing for a long time.”
If you know anything about what happened when Julie Cutler went missing, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.
There is a $250,000 reward for information about what happened to Ms. Cutler. Police say that her family has been waiting in “pain and agony.”
As detectives start a new investigation into the case, the reward is for information that leads to the conviction of the person or people responsible for Ms. Cutler’s disappearance.
The state government said it might also be willing to suggest that an informant not be prosecuted if they weren’t directly responsible for her disappearance.