Monday, February 15, 2010

Naden still on the run as the Scholes family longs for justice

By Amy McQuire

ISSUE 194, February 4, 2010: It has been nearly five years since Aboriginal mother-of-two Kristy Scholes died, but her family is still crying out for justice.

Ms Scholes was found strangled in a Dubbo home in June 2005.

The man wanted for questioning over her death has been on the run ever since.

Malcolm John Naden - who's fiancé was Ms Scholes' cousin - is the first Australian to have a bounty on his head since the days of notorious bushranger Ned Kelly.

He is also wanted for questioning in relation to the disappearance of his own cousin, Lateesha Nolan, an Aboriginal mother of four who was last seen in January of the same year.

But despite the $50,000 reward for information concerning Mr Naden's whereabouts, he is still at large, much to the concern of Ms Scholes' family.

Her uncle, Tony Scholes told NIT that the family were getting frustrated with the lack of information regarding Mr Naden, and had become increasingly disillusioned with police efforts.

"There have been sightings, but no-one has actually been able to apprehend him at all, so he's still at large," Mr Scholes told NIT.

"I don't think there's much happening with the police."

The search for Mr Naden made world headlines in December 2005 when police closed down Dubbo's Western Plains Zoo following confirmed reports that he had been hiding out there.

Since then, police have confirmed several sightings of Mr Naden in regional New South Wales.

In February 2006, he evaded an operation of 60 police at an Aboriginal mission in the Central West town of Condobolin.

In 2008, there were also sightings at Bellbrook, west of Kempsey - where police say they found Mr Naden's fingerprints after a break and enter.

In initial investigations, police were concerned that there were members of the community aiding Mr Naden, despite him being described as an expert bushman.

Police have since dismissed these fears, but Mr Scholes told NIT that "there's gotta be somebody".

"He's not doing any of this by himself, he can't get his own tucker, he's got to be eating normal food. He's stealing it or getting somebody to bring it for him," Mr Scholes said.

Mr Scholes said that the family wanted closure, describing Ms Scholes as "fun-loving, outgoing" and the "daughter every man would like to have."

"She was a good mother to her children, a good partner, and just a delightful young woman who had her life taken from her like that."

"...What we want is closure on it. We want to find this guy and get closure and make sure he tells us everything..."

Mr Scholes said the family had few options, but were always appealing to the community for help in finding Mr Naden.

"We've got the internet, we've got communities where everyone knows each other.

"We spread the word world-wide and far around Australia so people can see this guy and come forward. What if this happened to your family member?"

• Never approach, contact or attempt to apprehend a wanted person. If you sight or are aware of the whereabouts of a wanted person you should telephone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or your local police station.

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