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Gail McFayden - What Happened
Graham McFadyen arrived home at 4.15pm the day she disappeared. He was surprised to find the caravan locked and his wife not there. This was unusual as she looked forward to his return each night. He phoned both sets of parents but she was not there. He called the police around 7pm but a search was not mounted at that stage.
At 5am the following morning, Graham phoned the police again and they commenced a search which was progressively extended over the next few days to include police, army, search and rescue personnel and volunteers from the general public. The police interviewed more than 2000 local people with still no sign of Gail.

On Saturday 20 March, Gail’s brother Richard found the caravan key Gail would have used, in sand just north of the surf club. The area was cordoned off and a systematic search began on Sunday 21 March, using metal detectors, sieves, wheelbarrows and shovels. That evening, police concluded the missing woman was not above ground in the area.

A more detailed search using metal probes supplied by the army began on Tuesday, to check beneath the sand. While searching behind the surf club using the probes, Sergeant Peter Keedwell found Gail's body in a sandy grave, on a track just south of the central path. A meticulous excavation began. As the body was carefully exposed, it revealed she was naked, her wrists were tied with flax and bound with masking tape, her head and face had been grotesquely bound with masking tape, and there was a band of bruising around her neck. A post mortem established she had been strangled from behind with flax or a rope. She had apparently clawed her own neck as she tried to break free of the stricture. None of her clothes or other property had been buried with her.

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