Belinda Williams: family appeal for answers more than two decades on

Belinda and her daughter Mietta. Photo: Supplied
Belinda and her daughter Mietta. Photo: Supplied

The family of a young mother murdered in Buninyong 21 years ago is once again calling for anyone who has information to come forward.

Belinda Jane Williams was 36 years old when she was killed - believed to be in her Buninyong home while her six-year-old daughter, Mietta, slept - on June 25, 1999.

The last time Belinda was seen alive was the evening of June 25. It was a Friday night and the beginning of the school holidays, and she had two girlfriends over at her newly rented Buninyong home.

She and her friends hugged goodbye about 9.30pm, before she changed into her nightgown and crawled into bed with Mietta to read her a fairytale.

After that, she phoned a few friends - though what else happened that night remains a mystery.

When Mietta woke at 9am the following morning, her mother had vanished from their Elizabeth street home without a trace.

Mietta called her father, who searched for Belinda throughout the morning before reporting her as missing that afternoon.

FAMILY: Belinda Williams' brother Sean Macey, mother Shirley Macey and brother Nat Watchorn with a framed photograph of her. Photo: Kate Healy

FAMILY: Belinda Williams' brother Sean Macey, mother Shirley Macey and brother Nat Watchorn with a framed photograph of her. Photo: Kate Healy

The disappearance was perplexing from the very beginning as her family knew Belinda would never leave her beloved daughter alone to fend for herself.

The doors to the house were locked, none of her valuables had been taken and the clothes she had changed out of the previous evening were still crumpled on the bathroom floor.

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The family and police began searching for Belinda immediately.

Almost two weeks later, Belinda - still dressed in her nightgown - was found just seven kilometres from her home. Walkers had found her lifeless body lying in scrub and bracken down a hill, off the Mt Buninyong Access road.

Nobody has ever been charged in relation to the murder.

Shirley Macey has long called on anyone in the community who knows something to contact police.

Shirley Macey has long called on anyone in the community who knows something to contact police.

While the years have passed, the pain is just as raw for Belinda's family. Especially for Belinda's mother, Shirley Macey.

As each anniversary of her death passes without answers or charges, Belinda's killer is still walking free. Though her life was cut short, her daughter was robbed of her mother, and her family of a loving daughter and sister.

"She was a beautiful daughter and the most beautiful mother. She was so creative," Ms Macey said. "I miss everything about her."

For Ms Macey, the lack of answers is just as painful now as it was the day when Belinda's body was found. As she gets older, the prolonged wait for answers has left her grief-stricken.

I am desperate for answers. Somebody must know something.

Shirley Macey

"I am desperate for answers. Somebody must know something. It would be nice to have some peace," Ms Macey said.

Ms Macey said the question of who killed her daughter played on her mind every single day.

"Every night when I go to bed I think about who killed Belinda. I just want some peace from that.

Shirley Macey at the site Belinda's body was found.

Shirley Macey at the site Belinda's body was found.

"I don't just think about it on the anniversary, but every day. Every day is the same. I look at Mt Buninyong every day and I think about who put her up there."

Police investigators have long maintained the person who killed Belinda Williams was known to her.

In 2015, homicide squad detectives announced a $1 million reward for information leading to a break in the case. That reward remains in place.

This story 21 years and a $1 million reward later, a family continues grieving first appeared on The Courier.