Missing granny inquest reopens

THE inquest into 53-year-old grandmother, Sylvia Pajuczok, presumed to have been murdered six years ago, will resume in October.

And a male friend, believed to be the last person to see Ms Pajuczok alive, has been told by Coroner Mark Douglass to continue to have legal representation when the inquest resumes.

Ms Pajuczok was last seen at the male friend’s home at Rockton, near Bombala, on Christmas Eve in 2008.

Two days earlier the grandmother of five had driven from her home in Eden to visit her brother and friends in the Bombala area. 

Despite an extensive search and $100,000 police reward for information, her body has never been found.

The inquest started in December 2013 but was later adjourned so police could continue their inquiries.

According to ABC South East, Detective Philip McCloskey told the Glebe Coroners Court further searches on horseback have been conducted around the area where Ms Pajuczok’s green Toyota Tarago van was found on the side of the Monaro Highway, 10km south of Bombala on December 27, 2008.

He said nearby creeks have been searched and property owners in the area have been questioned. 

“We physically searched abandoned shacks and abandoned wells ... there was nothing there to be found,” Detective McCloskey told the court. 

The counsel assisting said Ms Pajuczok’s van was locked with many of her personal belongings including her glasses, cigarettes, food and mobile phone left inside.

He said her car keys and wallet were missing and she had probably “met with foul play”.

The inquest also heard there was evidence Ms Pajuczok was suffering from an emotional or psychological disturbance at the time and thought her phones were bugged.

Outside court, Ms Pajuczok’s long-time friend from Eden, Rachael Bush, said she was a gentle person and not knowing what had happened to her had been torture for her friends and family. 

“She wasn’t in a good place,” she said.

“She was depressed but definitely not suicidal.”

Ms Bush said Ms Pajuczok’s disappearance was out of character and asked anyone who had information about it to come forward.

“This has been a long, hard process and we’re pretty sure she’s gone,” she said.

“There’s no way Sylvia would not have contacted her family or me if she was able to do so.”

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