Reward for info on disappearance of Marion Barter increased to $500,000

The reward for information into the disappearance of former Gold Coast school teacher Marion Barter is being boosted to $500,000 the New South Wales Government and Police have confirmed.

It comes as an inquest into her disappearance resumes in Byron Bay this morning.

Ms Barter, 51, was last seen at a bus stop in Scarborough St in Southport on June 22, 1997, after being dropped off ahead of an overseas trip.


She had sold her home and told family members that her belongings had been placed in storage.

She had also been seen leaving a service station with a tall man in a red Honda Civic in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.

Investigations have since revealed she left for the UK that day under the name Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel, after changing her name a month before she left.

Ms Barter is believed to have re-entered Australia on August 2 1997 under her new name.

It has since been revealed that someone had accessed her bank account since her disappearance.

She was reported missing to Police in Byron Bay in October 1997.

An inquest into her disappearance heard from Ms Barter’s alleged secret lover, convicted conman Ric Blum.

He told the inquest he had a ‘fleeting’ relationship with Ms Barter in Switzerland in the 1960s.

They reconnected in 1997 when Mr Blum responded to a companionship ad in a newspaper.

PHOTO: Supplied

Police have confirmed the reward for any information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Ms Barter’s disappearance is being increased to $500,000.

Homicide Squad, Detective Inspector Nigel Warren, said any new information would be welcomed.

“We’re very mindful of the coronial proceedings which are underway today, but also hopeful this reward may encourage the flow of new information regarding Marion’s disappearance.

“We are still working to establish Ms Barter’s movements and whereabouts upon returning to Australia in late July or early August 1997 and wish to speak with anyone close to her during that time,” Det Insp Warren said.

Marion’s daughter, Sally Leydon, said she has never given up her quest for answers and encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

“My mother’s behaviour before leaving Australia was out of character and we know she was seen around the Southport area inside a vehicle with an unknown man,” Ms Leydon said.

“She also missed my brother’s birthday – something I know she would never do – and had her bank account drained in increments once she was reported missing.

“I have no doubt these bizarre occurrences were because something untoward was happening in her life, and that thing still remains a heartbreaking mystery for my family today,” Ms Barter said.