Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

    Allison Bernard walked out of the Exchange Hotel and was never seen again.  It seemed all hope of finding her was lost… but eleven years later, police have made a stunning breakthrough

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    Allison Bernard walked out of the Exchange Hotel in Coen, Queensland, 11 years ago and was never seen again.

    The 23-year-old mother-of-two left the pub that evening with stranger Thomas Byrnes, who told her she had passed his house before ‘walking around’.

    She was expected to travel to Kowanyama, but she never arrived.

    After more than a decade of intrigue surrounding the case – and the recent offer of a $500,000 reward – police appear to have made a breakthrough.

    Allison Bernard walked out of the Exchange Hotel in Coen, Queensland, 11 years ago and was never seen again

    The 23-year-old mother-of-two left the pub that evening with stranger Thomas Byrnes (right), who told her she had passed his house before ‘walking around’.

    Queensland Police announced on Tuesday evening that a 62-year-old man from Coen was assisting police with their investigation into her ‘suspicious disappearance’.

    No charges have been filed.

    Archer River Quarry caretaker Mr Byrnes is said to have been the last person to see Ms Bernard alive after he picked her up from the pub that evening in February 2013.

    He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

    Last year, on the 10th anniversary of Ms Bernard’s disappearance, her family released a statement when the reward was announced.

    Mrs Bernard had been at the Exchange Hotel in the moments before she disappeared

    Ms Bernard disappeared in February 2013

    “We, the Bernard family, are still devastated by Allison’s disappearance. Her absence continues to impact our lives and our community, especially her children,” they said.

    “We acknowledge the reward announcement by the Minister for Police and we encourage anyone with information that could assist the investigation to come forward.

    “Family members deserve the respect that the questions surrounding her disappearance are answered.”

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