Tuesday, August 30, 2005
For the past 16 years Malcolm John Naden lived a hermit-like existence in a sparsely furnished bedroom at his grandparents' home in Dubbo. He kept the door bolt locked from the inside.
He would leave his sanctuary through the bedroom window, though in the past year he rarely ventured outside. His reading material included the Bible, encyclopedias and books about bush survival.
The stocky, quiet, 31-year-old unemployed shearer and former skinner and boner at Dubbo abattoir also sketched, but police will not reveal the nature of the drawings they found in his room last July 23.
They had broken into the room that day and found the strangled body of his cousin Kristy Scholes, 24, on the floor beside his single bed. She had been missing for two days and the alarm was raised when one of her two small children was found crying outside the home, in Bumblegumbie Road.
His disappearance and the murder of Ms Scholes, who had been living in the home while her neighbouring house was being painted, has also been linked with the disappearance last January of another cousin of Mr Naden, Lateesha Nolan, 24.
Ms Nolan was last seen at 9pm on January 4, when she dropped off two of her four children at the same house. The next night her blue 1996 Ford Falcon station wagon was found in a car park in the town centre, four kilometres away.
Homicide squad detectives yesterday made a statewide appeal for information on Mr Naden's whereabouts.
The head of the investigation, Detective Sergeant Bryne Ruse, said police believed Mr Naden had fled to another town, to Sydney or had taken to living off the land with his knowledge of bush skills.
Sergeant Ruse said police also wanted to speak to Mr Naden about the disappearance of Ms Nolan.
The issuing of a warrant for Mr Naden's arrest means there are now two large but unrelated manhunts under way in rural NSW.
In the north-west of the state, police are searching for the killer of a farm manager near Warialda last Wednesday.
Queensland police have joined the investigation into the murder of Nigel Pettet, 31, at a property he managed. His Toyota Landcruiser utility was last seen in the Queensland town of Warwick. Police have not revealed how or why he was killed.
Anyone with information on Ms Nolan's disappearance and the murders of Ms Scholes and Mr Pettet are asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.