It’s been nearly one year since data scientist Kathleen Riethmuller vanished without a trace from Sydney, with police branding her disappearance “out of character” as they launch a fresh appeal for information.
Mystery surrounds the disappearance of the Brisbane woman, who was last seen on October 28, 2021.
Concerns were sparked when a member of the public found the 28-year-old’s belongings in a backpack in Lane Cove, a suburb in Sydney’s north.
The backpack contained essential items, such as Kathleen’s identification documents and bank cards.
An investigation into her whereabouts began following the discovery of the bag.
Police determined Kathleen attended a retail store on Reserve Road in Artarmon, about 11.40am on the day she was last seen. She was then sighted again at 2.30pm in North Sydney, wearing a long-sleeved denim dress and black flat shoes.
The sightings come after Kathleen checked into Elephant Backpackers in inner-city Woolloomooloo.
Police believe the 28-year-old may have traveled to Melbourne.
Missing Persons Registry Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Glen Brown, has called her disappearance “out of character”, adding they’ve chosen to highlight her case as Missing Persons Week 2022 begins.
“Detectives from both North Shore and Kings Cross have conducted extensive inquiries into Kathleen’s movements and activities immediately before and after she went missing,” Brown said.
“Her behavior was clearly out of character when she was last seen, and we’ve been unable to establish any logical reason for her movements that day and subsequent disappearance.
“Investigators strongly suspect Kathleen may be alive and possibly living interstate, and any information to that effect would be very helpful to police.
“We continue to work off several possibilities as to why Kathleen disappeared but ultimately, we need the public’s help – which is why we’ve chosen her case to highlight during this important week.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole is hopeful the new appeal will uncover more clues.
“The ripple effect that occurs when a person goes missing without reason or without a trace shouldn’t be underestimated,” Mr Toole said.
“Police are committed to finding Kathleen to provide answers to her family and those who knew her, but they need the public’s help.”
Kathleen is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 165cm – 175cm tall, of thin build, with long dark hair.
Missing Persons Week is an annual national campaign to raise awareness of the issues and impacts surrounding missing persons and runs between Sunday 31 July and Saturday 6 August 2022.