Tuesday, December 27, 2005

desperate for help

Desperate for helpCHRISANTHI GIOTISTuesday, 27 December 2005 When Lateesha Nolan's four-year-old son goes to bed at night he hides a knife under his pillow so the "bad man won't come and get me too". Almost a year after Lateesha disappeared and only a few days after Malcolm Naden, the man police most want to question over her disappearance, was believed to be holed up at Western Plains Zoo, Lateesha's children still believe their mum will come home. Members of Lateesha's family said the children were desperate for closure and have appealed for anyone with information to contact the police and for Mr Naden to give himself up. Mr Naden is Lateesha's cousin; he is also wanted for questioning by police investigating the murder of Kristy Scholes, another cousin. According to Janette Lancaster, aunty of Lateesha, Malcolm and Kristy, the situation has torn the family apart. An internet message has been posted begging Mr Naden to give himself up and family members hope a candlelight vigil planned for January 4 - a year after Lateesha's disappearance - will encourage anyone with information to listen to their conscience and come forward. "The grandparents especially want to know if he's okay. He's been missing since Kristy was found murdered - we don't even know if something happened to him and whether or not he had anything to do with Lateesha's disappearance," Mrs Lancaster said. "Some of the family don't want to believe he did it and he really has torn the family apart," she said. "Even at Christmas no-one wanted to celebrate and Lateesha's mother didn't put up any decorations. "You just don't know what it's like until you go through it - the heartache, the disruption to the family, how the kids are suffering. The kids need to know because otherwise they're just going to grow up with more anger and resentment." Lateesha was described as a devoted mother who was always with her children, now the children cling desperately to their grandmother, afraid that she too will disappear if she leaves them. The eldest child Kiesha has just finished her first year at school - Lateesha had already bought Kiesha's uniform before she disappeared on January 4 - but never got to see Kiesha wear it to school. Five-year-old Erica will start school this year. "She's stopped talking to a lot of people and really become withdrawn," Mrs Lancaster said. "Kristy's children can go and visit her grave site and look up at the stars and say mum is one of them now - but Lateesha's can't," she said. "Lateesha's children wake up every morning hoping that she'll be there and ask if they can go in to the bush and go looking for her. "The kids need to know - even if someone has information about where she's buried at least we can give her a proper grave that the kids can go to and at least they'll be able to look up at the stars. "I know somebody out there knows something and they're not saying."


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