NEVER FOUND: British backpacker Celena Bridge, Sabrina Ann Glassop and school girl Jessica Gaudie.
NEVER FOUND: British backpacker Celena Bridge, Sabrina Ann Glassop and school girl Jessica Gaudie. Contributed

Could one of Coast's greatest murder mysteries be solved?

POLICE are readying to charge suspected serial killer Derek Sam with murdering two women who vanished from the same rural road on the Sunshine Coast almost 20 years ago.

The Courier-Mail reports detectives expect to complete a brief of evidence against Sam within months, after a renewed investigation into the suspected murders of British backpacker Celena Bridge and teacher's aide Sabrina Glassop.

Prosecutors will then be asked to make the call on whether to charge Sam, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of schoolgirl Jessica Gaudie.

Sam has always denied being involved in the disappearances of the three women. Detectives last year secretly took Sam out of prison and back to where Ms Bridge and Ms Glassop vanished as part of the new push to solve the mysteries.

Derek Sam appears in Brisbane Court. Photo:Contributed
Derek Sam appears in Brisbane Court. Photo:Contributed

Police are also discussing an alternative plan in which Sam would not be prosecuted if he leads them to the bodies of all three missing women.

"There remains an opportunity for Derek to help himself. All police are trying to get is an outcome for those families," Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards said.

Police and SES volunteers search forest at Brooloo, near Imbil, following new leads in the case of missing women, Celena Bridge and Sabrina Ann Glassop. Photo: Nathan Woulfe
Police and SES volunteers search forest at Brooloo, near Imbil, following new leads in the case of missing women, Celena Bridge and Sabrina Ann Glassop. Photo: Nathan Woulfe Nathan Woulfe/nw165594

Eric Glassop, the husband of Sabrina Glassop, died in late 2015 without learning her fate.

The 66-year-old died after a long battle with leukemia, the body of his late wife having never been recovered.

Missing Kenilworth woman Ann Glassop
Missing Kenilworth woman Ann Glassop Contributed

Ms Glassop had vanished a few hundred metres from her home on May 29, 1999, in one of the Sunshine Coast's most mysterious missing persons cases.

Ms Glassop, a 47-year-old teacher's aide, was one of three women to go missing in a 19-month period between 1997 and 1999.

Missing woman Celena Bridge
Missing woman Celena Bridge

Celena Bridge, a 28-year-old British backpacker, disappeared from Kenilworth in July, 1997, and Jessica Gaudie, a 16-year-old schoolgirl went missing from Nambour in August, 1999.

A horse trainer and indigenous tracker that was known to the Glassops, Derek Bellington Sam, was jailed in 2002 for the murder of Jessica Gaudie.

Police revealed links between Sam and all three women, but a Coronial Inquest in 2001 produced no closure for their families.

After the inquest, Eric Glassop said: "Ann was my life, and I've realised increasingly over the last 31 years that she was also my future."

Police are also determined to find the body of Jessica Gaudie.

Mark Wright, who together with now Inspector Peter Brewer, put Derek Sam behind bars for the murder of the 16-year-old Nambour girl, told the Sunshine Coast Daily back in 2014 he was determined to find Jessica's body for the family's sake.

"I don't think I have gone a day since Jess went missing that I have not thought about where she might be," Acting Snr Sgt Wright said.

News Corp Australia


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