Robert, Anne Geeves arrested over 2002 disappearance of teenager

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Asked at the inquest if he knew where Haigh was, Mr Geeves replied: “I don’t wish to answer that question.”

The inquest heard evidence from several men known to have said things, usually while drunk, about what happened: that she was kidnapped by a group of bikies; that she was hit with a brick and had her throat cut; that she was put through a shredding machine; and that she was buried in a vineyard. In the witness box, they all dismissed it as drunken babble.

According to evidence heard at the inquest, Mrs Geeves had desperately wanted a child and might have been motivated to use Haigh as a “surrogate mother” to get the child she wanted.

Haigh’s family relationships were troubled, the coroner heard, with a “difficult” relationship with her mother and a father who drank heavily and was frequently intoxicated.

Haigh, who went to the Young district at the age of 14 to pick cherries, was never to develop intellectually beyond the level of a 13-year-old. At the age of 18, Amber took up with Robert and Anne Geeves in a property called Huntley, in Kingsvale, an isolated rural pocket.

In an emotional video message released with the $1 million reward, Haigh’s sister Melissa Millar-Hodder and mother Rosalind Wright described a woman who loved music, drawing and cats.

“Amber, she had a kind, warm, loving soul. She would help anyone in any way,” Millar-Hodder said.

She said the family felt “incomplete and lost” not knowing what had happened to Haigh.

“Not able to lay her to rest, not able to pick up the phone or give her hugs one last time; that has been taken away from us,” she said.

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