Search operations continue for missing Koumala woman
The search for missing Koumala woman Helen Barnett has continued today with
police coordinating a land and air search.
Multiple agencies assisted in today’s grid search of dense farmland on the
53-year-old’s Turnors Paddock Road property where she was last seen at
around 3pm on Sunday, February 13.
Police have been coordinating search efforts since Helen was reported
missing and today saw 27 SES volunteers along with five Rural Fire Service
volunteers and police scouring bushland and grasslands, which at times was
up to a metre high.
The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter completed a reconnaissance mission late this
afternoon and tomorrow’s land search, expected to be bolstered by thirty new
search personnel, will resume from 7am. Drones and quad bikes will also be
used in the search.
UPDATE 2: Search operations continue for missing Koumala woman
Queensland police continue to search for missing 53-year-old Koumala woman
Helen Barnett after her disappearance near her property on Turnors Paddock
Road last month.
Investigators have today reiterated an appeal for information around the
circumstances of Helen’s disappearance, establishing she was last seen about
300 metres from her home at approximately 4.20pm, on Sunday, February 13.
The location is about 11 kilometres from the Bruce Highway.
Investigators have also revealed that Helen was last seen wearing a black
and white top, shorts, Orthopaedic thongs with dark canvas straps, a
shoulder brace and a knee brace. Her hair was also in a ponytail.
Multiple agencies, including SES, Rural Fire Service, and the RACQ CQ Rescue
Helicopter, have assisted police in the search efforts within the past few
Police request that anyone who has information regarding seeing Helen
Barnett on Turnors Paddock Road on that day or any other information that
may lead to her location is asked to contact police.
Search continues for missing woman
Police have launched a fresh appeal for information into the
disappearance of a woman on a Koumala property.
Helen Barnett was last seen 300 metres from her home, heading
for a walk on her Turnors Paddock Road property, at about 4.20pm on February
The 53-year-old was wearing a black and white top with shorts
and thongs, a shoulder and knee brace and her hair was in a pony tail.
Multiple agencies, including SES, Rural Fire Service, and the
RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter, have assisted police in the search efforts within
the past few weeks, however Inspector Ian Haughton says despite extensive
search efforts, they've been unable to find her.
"She doesn't have a car and her phone was left at the home
address but we are looking at contacts who she may have contacted and that
is ongoing as we speak," Inspector Haughton says.
"We are requesting information from the public for anyone
that may have seen or have any information as to her current whereabouts to
please contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."
information regarding seeing Helen Barnett on Turnors Paddock
Road on that day or any other information that may lead to her location is
asked to contact police.
Inspector Haughton says they are calling on anyone who may
have information regarding seeing Helen Barnett on Turnors Paddock Road on
that day or any other information is being urged to come forward.
"This is an appeal to the people who could have been on Turnors
Paddock Road at that time between say 4pm and 6pm on Sunday 13th February
Koumala woman Helen Barnett reported missing after not returning from walk
There are growing concerns for the safety of missing woman Helen Barnett, as the
police search enters its third week. Police are calling for any information that
There are major fears held for the safety of a missing Koumala woman as the
search for her enters its third week.
Helen Barnett has not been seen since she set out for a walk at her Turnors
Paddock Rd property the afternoon of Sunday, February 13.
Ms Barnett, who suffers an undisclosed medical condition, is believed to have
gone for a walk, and concerns are growing for her safety and health the longer
she is not found.
Inspector Ian Haughton said the initial search had focused on the area around
Turnors Paddock Rd, and renewed appeals to the wider Koumala area for any
information that could help find her.
“An extensive land search in and around that area has failed to locate Helen, so
we’re requesting information from the public for anyone that may have seen, or
have any information as to her current whereabouts,” he said.
“It’s concerning because of some medical conditions that Helen had, and to put
it bluntly, we’re not giving up but we’d like to locate Helen.”
Ms Barnett was wearing shoulder and knee braces at the time she left her house
on February 13, with a witness reporting to police confirming she was dressed in
a black and white top, shorts and orthopaedic thongs.
Dense scrub and rugged terrain hampered the search on the 80-plus hectare
But the search areas have now been exhausted, and Inspector Haughton said police
had no new leads.
“She doesn’t have a car, her phone was left at the home address, but we’re
looking at contacts and who she may have contacted and that’s ongoing as we
speak,” he said.
“Someone’s already come forward to identify that they saw her at that time on
that Sunday afternoon, but we’re wondering if there is anyone else in the area
who may be able to assist.”
An exhaustive search effort on February 19 included 50 SES people and police
divers who scoured nearby waterways but failed to find any sign of Ms Barnett.
About 20 volunteers continued the search on February 20, and Australian Defence
Force personnel using drones and aerial surveillance including the CQ Rescue
helicopter have also been involved in the operation.
Inspector Haughton said he hoped help from the public would give the inquiry a
Previously, Ms Barnett’s neighbour of 11 years Shannon Wajeski said he could not
believe it when he received advice from police to check his shelters and sheds
for his missing neighbour, so shortly after Ms Latimore’s death.
Mr Wajeski said during his time, the community had never experienced anything
like the events of the past six months.
“We had some really big bushfires a few years back, and the whole community
rallied together, everyone was in everyone’s backyard helping out,” he said.
Mr Wajeski said rallying for a fire was second nature to his community.
“But how do you do it for this?” he said.
“The main thing now is to try and find [Helen].”
District Duty Officer Tony McDowell said they had requested the military’s help
to find the 53-year-old, who came equipped with drones and ATVs.
He said they stood down the SES to give them a break. But the search did not
Police searched more than five square kilometres on land and 15sq km in the air
using drones and the RACQ CQ helicopter.
A police spokeswoman described the property as remote and rural, “bound by large
properties that contain heavy bush land, thick vegetations and vast fields of
The spokeswoman said rural property owners in the area were being asked to check
their yards, sheds and shelters.
Friend Michelle Cain, who has known Ms Barnett for 38 years, has pleaded with
people in the area to keep searching.
“Please keep checking your properties,” Mrs Cain said.
“To the Koumala community, I appreciate all their help but Helen is still
missing and I need my friend found.
Ms Barnett is described as caucasian, about 168cm tall with a proportionate
build and light brown hair.
Anyone with information in relation to Helen’s whereabouts is asked to
immediately contact police.