Police Victoria

Pregnant, missing, presumed dead in Vic

Karen Fraser lost a daughter and unborn grandchild when intellectually-impaired Krystal vanished, likely murdered, in Victoria a decade ago.

As police announced a $1 million reward for information about what happened to the 23-year-old, a tearful Ms Fraser on Wednesday told the guilty party to “grow a conscience”.

“She was our daughter, she had a brother and sister and grandmother,” she told reporters at a police press conference before directly addressing her killer.

“You took all that away from us and we don’t know what happened. Grow a conscience.”

Krystal was just a couple of days away from giving birth when she disappeared from Pyramid Hill, in the state’s central north, on June 20, 2009.

Missing Persons Squad Detective acting Inspector Julian Horan said new information received earlier this year had sparked fresh lines of inquiry into a person previously questioned over Krystal’s disappearance.

“The information is promising, however sadly leads us to look at the possibility that Krystal met with foul play because of the intimate relationship she shared with a man,” the detective said.

“This relationship and the subsequent pregnancy may have caused a confrontation between Krystal and this man leading to her disappearance and death.”

“It is monstrous, it is despicable, and whoever did this has the most selfish of motivations to look after themselves.”

Investigators say Ms Fraser received a 40-second phone call on her mobile from a public phone at 11.59pm on the day she vanished.

Krystal received a 15 calls from the same public phone between May 2009 and the day she went missing.

Almost three hours later her phone was pinged by a tower in Leitchville, 27km from Pyramid Hill and 10 minutes from Cohuna.

The proximity to Cohuna is important because Ms Fraser told several people she planned to attend a party there.

“I believe this caller holds the answers to what happened to Krystal and may be the father of Krystal’s unborn child,” Det Insp Horan said.

“Investigators strongly believe that the caller was the last person to speak to Krystal prior to her disappearance.”

Police have not found Ms Fraser’s mobile phone.

Det Insp Horan hopes the increased reward, formerly $100,000, will encourage someone to come forward.

© AAP 2019

Downstream Murray licences need MP’s tick

VICTORIA is cracking down on sourcing irrigation water from the Murray River and has urged other states to do the same in a bid to ensure environmental flows.

For the next year all licence applications for the lower Murray region, below the NSW border town of Barmah, must be referred to Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville for assessment.

New licences will not be granted for extraction nor limits increased if they are shown to pose an increased risk to the environment or entitlement holders, she said.

Updated modelling from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is due within the next 12 months and the minister has asked her NSW and South Australian counterparts to similarly tighten approval processes until the new data is received.

“We are reaching the limit of the water that’s available to be delivered to the lower Murray region,” Labor MP Ms Neville told reporters on Wednesday.

Increased demand for water downstream had led to higher summer flows which are eroding important waterways including the Goulburn River and the Barmah Choke, a narrow stretch of the Murray, she added.

“I have reached out to SA and NSW because they’re the other states that have irrigation developments below the Barmah Choke in the lower Murray area and have asked them to work with us and put in place a similar approach,” Ms Neville said.

NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would do what was best for her state.

“I do notice and obviously take note of what other states are doing,” she said.

“But where NSW is concerned, we’ve been in the deepest drought in living memory and we have a responsibility to ensure our communities are given every support.”

The South Australian government says it will continue to monitor risks of water delivery below the Barmah Choke and take action if necessary.

News of Victoria’s tightened licensing process follows ongoing debate about management of the Murray-Darling Basin and calls for a royal commission amid allegations of rorting.

© AAP 2019 Photo credit: AAP

Child mauled on face by family dog

AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy is recovering in hospital after being attacked by the family’s pet dog in Melbourne’s north-west.

The child was mauled by a doberman-cross in the backyard of his home at Cairnlea on Saturday, The Age reported.

Paramedics were called to the Spearfelt Court property at 3.20pm and found the boy with serious facial injuries.

The 11-year-old was taken to The Royal Children’s Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The dog, which was not registered, was secured in the backyard before being removed by local rangers, police said.

The animal has since been euthanised.

Brimbank Council’s city development director Kelvin Walsh told The Age it was a “tragic” incident.

“In a tragic backyard attack, an 11-year-old child was mauled on the face by a family doberman,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the injured child and we wish the child a speedy recovery.”

Council and Victoria Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

It comes just three days after Leo Biancofiore, 61, was mauled to death by his son’s pet American Staffordshire Terrier at his home in Mill Park, in the city’s north-east.

His wife, 58-year-old Donita, was also attacked while trying to help her husband and suffered serious injuries.

The dog was later euthanised.

Man mauled to death, wife seriously injured in horror dog attack

A MAN has been killed and his wife seriously injured in a horror dog attack at a home in Melbourne’s north.

Emergency services were called to the couple’s home on Ancona Drive in Mill Park about 6.40pm last night.

When police arrived at the property, they found the dog still attacking the 61-year-old man in the backyard.

Officers were forced to open fire, discharging a number of shots in the air in an effort to distract the dog.

Tragically, the 61-year-old man, who police said was on crutches, could not be saved and died at the scene.

The man’s wife, 58, was also seriously injured in the attack and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Nine News reported neighbours heard the woman’s screams and tried fighting off the dog with a hose.

It’s understood the dog, believed to be an American staffordshire terrier, belonged to the victim’s son.

Police said the animal was contained in the yard before being removed by a ranger at about 10.30pm.

The dog is being held by Council and is expected to be put down after its owners consented to it being destroyed.

Hospital

Girl, 13, dies from flu-like symptoms days after falling ill

A 13-YEAR-OLD girl has tragically died just days after coming down with flu-like symptoms in Melbourne.

Crystal-Lee Wightley fell ill on Tuesday, after several of her other family members had been sick with the flu.

Her condition rapidly worsened in the early hours of Friday morning and an ambulance was called.

Sadly, the 13-year-old could not be saved and died a short time later, her family have confirmed.

Crystal-Lee Wightley, 13, died from flu-like symptoms on Friday | Source: Facebook

In a post on Facebook, family member Channi Gartland described Crystal-Lee as a kind, caring, sports-loving teen.

“Crystal was kind, smart, beautiful and had come backs that would make a room stop and then laugh,” Ms Gartland said.

“She was getting excited and counting down the weeks to her 14th birthday.”

Crystal-Lee was looking forward to her 14th birthday | Source: Facebook

Crystal-Lee’s grandmother Karyn Wightley said she had been left heartbroken by the death of her eldest granddaughter.

“My darling I am heartbroken and life will never be the same,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Fly with the Angels my darling girl. Nanny will always miss you.

“Big Poppy and Big Nanny will be waiting to put their arms around you and keep you safe until we meet again.

“Missed and loved always I just can’t stop crying beautiful girl.”

More than 220 people have died of complications from the flu across Australia so far this year, 50 alone in Victoria.

More than 120,000 others have been hit by the virus.