NEWS
05/12/2018 10:10 GMT

The Teacher’s Pet: Husband Of Missing Lynette Dawson Arrested After Podcast Revives Interest In Cold Case

'This is a big step.'

Australian police investigating the disappearance of a mother-of-two who vanished in 1982 have arrested her husband.

Chris Dawson, 70, is expected to be charged with murdering Lynette Dawson, New South Wales (NSW) authorities said.

No sign of Lynette has ever been found after she went missing from the home she shared with her husband and two young children in Sydney.

Global interest in her disappearance was revived thanks to the popular podcast by The Australian newspaper, The Teacher’s Pet, which has been downloaded more than 27 million times.

Speaking after the arrest, Lynette’s brother Greg Simms told The Australian: “We’ve had a cry, we’ve cuddled, we’re just completely over the moon that something has finally happened.”

Her nephew David Jenkins tweeted: “I’m shaking. There is a long road in front of us in bringing Lyn home, but this is a big step.”

In September police started digging at the couple’s former home, using new technologies, though no new evidence was found. 

Speaking at the time, homicide squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook told The Australian newspaper: “We will go until we hit rock. Previously when we conducted examinations here, there was a number of anomalies in the ground. They were inspected previously. We’ll revisit them. It’s all about getting justice for Lyn.”

Former rugby league player Chris Dawson has long been a suspect, though he has consistently denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, claiming she left the family voluntarily, possibly to join a religious cult. Two coroner’s inquests determined she had been killed by a “known person.”

In 2003 an inquest heard Chris Dawson had sexual relationships with teenage students and moved a 16-year-old schoolgirl into his home within days of his wife’s disappearance. The pair married and had a child but have since separated.

Lynette is believed to have gone missing on 9 January 1982, though her husband did not officially report her missing until 18 February.

In 2013 the NSW Government announced a $200,000 reward would be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the disappearance and presumed murder of Lynette.

A reinvestigation of the case in 2015 saw a summary of recently-uncovered evidence being handed to the state’s Director of Prosecutions. It had previously been determined there was not enough evidence to pursue charges.