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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Police to take time with new Beaumont dig

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Preparations are under way to excavate a section of an Adelaide factory as part of a renewed investigation into the 1966 disappearance of the Beaumont children.

Police will converge on the Plympton Park scene within the next few weeks, but are determined not to rush it.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray says it’s important that detectives get the right people in place to do the job properly if they are to make a significant breakthrough in Australia’s most enduring cold case.

Attention will be focused on a three metre-deep hole dug on the site at the time the three children, Jane, 10, Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4, disappeared.

On Australia Day 1966, the children left their parents’ home to spend the day at Glenelg Beach but never returned and have not been seen since.

The Plympton factory first came to the attention of police in 2013 after two brothers told of digging a large hole at the request of the then-owner Harry Phipps.

An excavation was conducted but nothing was found.

Mr Phipps has long been a person of interest in the kidnapping and likely murder of the Beaumonts.

But Supt Bray said Mr Phipps, who died in 2004 and was first investigated in 2007, was not yet a suspect.

Police were prompted to return to the factory amid concerns the first dig was conducted in the wrong location and after analysis by scientists from Flinders University revealed signs of a hole being dug in another area.

Supt Bray said he didn’t know what police may find but stressed there was nothing yet to suggest the hole contains the remains of the three children.

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