21 Feb, 2011 04:00 AM
Every day Mick Peet looks into the eyes of his 10-year-old daughter Kiara and sees another daughter lost and alone.
Kiara strongly resembles Lateesha Nolan, who was last seen in Dubbo in January 2005.
The disappearance of the mother-of-four, nicknamed “Teesha” by her dad and others, launched a search for her cousin Malcolm Naden, now considered among the most wanted in NSW.
At the weekend NSW Police Minister Michael Daley announced the reward for information leading to his capture had been doubled to $100,000.
Naden, 37, thought to be hiding out in the Barrington Tops, is also sought by police for questioning in relation to the death of 24-year-old mother-of-two Kristy Scholes in Dubbo in 2005 and the indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl in 2004.
Mr Peet, father-of-five and resident of northern Queensland, has welcomed the long-sought-after boosting of the reward that he believes will encourage the flow of information to police and help keep Lateesha’s name on the national radar.
Through the internet and Facebook, the former Dubbo
resident has tried to find out what has happened to his beloved daughter, by linking up with people who claim to have sighted Naden and supporters of his quest for justice.
Mr Peet has grappled with the prospect of never knowing where Lateesha is and what circumstances prevented her from watching her children grow.
“Once he (Naden) has gone, that’s the end of it. We will get nothing then ... no closure,” Mr Peet said.
Tragically, Mr Peet tells of Lateesha’s plans to take her children to Queensland for a visit, a trip cut short when her car was found abandoned near the Macquarie River.
“There was a spare tyre missing from the car and they thought she might have been tied to it,” Mr Peet said.
“But they searched the river for two weeks and didn’t find her.”
The father, who confesses to have become “overprotective” of his children despite their objections, is conflicted about Naden as time goes by.
“Sometimes I think I just need him to tell me where she is,” said Mr Peet, who still avails himself of counselling.
“Then I hear of girls missing, and I wonder, ‘could it be him?’.
“I don’t want any other family to go through this.”
Mr Peet said he will never give up looking for Lateesha, one of the reasons why his 16-year-old daughter Natasha has sought and gained a scholarship to study law at university.
He, like the police minister, is keen that experienced bushman Naden is never compared to Ned Kelly.
“Kristy and Lateesha left behind six young children and those kids deserve justice for their mothers,” the minister said.
“Police will never give up on finding Naden.” Mr Peet is charting the course of the search at coastmick21.blogspot.com
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