Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The last snapshot of man wanted over strangulation murder
January 3, 2006
Malcolm Naden's aunty talks about the man on the run, writes Jordan Baker.
THIS is Malcolm John Naden as his family remembers him.
For reasons known only to the man on the run from murder allegations, Naden posed for the photograph after gathering and destroying every picture he could find of himself.
It captures Naden, dishcloth in hand, as he looked when he disappeared a day before the strangled body of his cousin's partner Kristy Scholes was found next to his single bed in August.
Until now police have relied on a picture of a fuller-faced man with closely cropped hair to jog the memories of members of the public who may have seen Naden on the run.
The photograph is taken in the Dubbo home of his grandparents, who took him in when he fled his home after repeated clashes with his father.
Janette Lancaster, his aunty, said she "grabbed him on a good day".
By the time the photo was taken he was virtually a hermit, shutting himself in his sparsely furnished room, bolting the door from the inside and occasionally climbing through the window at night.
"You never knew whether he was there or not," Mrs Lancaster said. "He sometimes had blankets over the windows. He even used to put his clothes under the door so no one could see the light.
"The boys would give him food through the window. Dad would leave fruit on his door in a plastic bag.
"Before what happened with Kristy, he wouldn't take the food; it was just going rotten."
Naden disappeared more than four months ago. Police believe he is living rough using the survival skills he learned while camping and fishing, with perhaps some help from contacts.
He has been spotted across western NSW - at Moree, Coonabarabran and Coonamble.
The only two confirmed sightings have been at Grawin, near Lightning Ridge, and at Western Plains Zoo, where the former skinner and boner from Dubbo abattoir lived for up to two weeks.
Grawin's opal fields suit wanted men: empty camps, deserted mines the size of ballrooms, and furtive "noodlers" who scavenge through dumps for riches the miners missed.
"You could go months and months without seeing anybody out here if you chose the right spot," said Cheryl Bailey, the manager of a local club.
Police operations in both places failed to find him.
Relatives are begging Naden to turn himself in, and his grandparents cannot bring themselves to return to the house they have lived in for 30 years.
Mrs Lancaster said: "There's some that don't want to believe it, but there's others who say why would she be found in his room with the door locked? Nobody went into his room. His father doesn't want to believe it at all.
"You don't want to think someone you trusted and loved and helped raise can murder someone. It's so unbelievable it's not funny. Until we find him and he gives us his story we don't know what happened."
Police also want to question Naden over his cousin Lateesha Nolan, missing since last January. A vigil will be held for her tomorrow, the anniversary of her disappearance.