Lynette Dawson: Police search home of mother who disappeared in 1982

Posted at 4:21 AM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 07:55:30-04

Police have begun searching a Sydney home for the remains of Lynette Dawson, a mother of two whose disappearance 36 years ago became the subject of a popular true crime podcast.

Dawson, 33, vanished from her home in the suburb of Bayview in January 1982, and while her husband Chris Dawson has long been a suspect in the case, prosecutors haven’t had enough evidence to charge him.

Chris Dawson has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, despite two coronial inquests that concluded he killed her, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.

It’s not the first time police have searched the Bayview home for the mother’s remains, but this time they’re using new technology.

“Today we are digging in four areas; a small area at the back of the house between the rock and the building, another area in the back yard near the clothes line, another area a little further up in the back yard and around the pool area,” said New South Wales Police Homicide Squad commander Scott Cook.

“This is all about getting justice for Lyn.”

Cook said police are expected to spend about five days at the property.

Chris Dawson, a former rugby player who worked as a high school teacher, was having an affair with a 16-year-old student and the children’s babysitter at the time of his wife’s disappearance, according to the popular podcast, The Teacher’s Pet.

The podcast was the product of months of work by an investigative journalist for The Australian newspaper, Hedley Thomas.

Lynette Dawson eventually found out about the affair and kicked the babysitter out of the house. Two days after Lynette disappeared, Chris Dawson’s girlfriend moved back in.

Dawson did not report his wife’s disappearance until the next month, according to police. Police did not look at Dawson as a murder suspect after Lynette Dawson’s disappearance, Nine News reported.

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge him. In 2013, they announced a 200,000 Australian dollar ($142,000) reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of her killed.

“We think it’s highly unlikely that Lynette staged her own disappearance,” police said at the time. “She had so much to live for.”

Police set up a new task force in 2015 to reinvestigate the case.