Outback mystery: WA Police expand investigation into prospectors Raymond, Jennie  Kehlet | PerthNow      

Images of prospecting equipment believed to be in Jennie Kehlet's possession before she went missing in Sandstone.

                            Pet dog may hold key to missing prospector mystery

  The Kehlets' dog, Ella, was found wandering in the Sandstone townsite nine days after they died

Kehlet inquest: WA Coroner's court hears something was wrong at the  couple's campLast man to see Raymond and Jennie Kehlet alive in WA breaks his silence



A man and a woman at their wedding. She is in a white wedding dress, he is in a wedding suit with sunglasses.

Jennie and Raymond Kehlet inquest: Coroner rules man was victim of homicide


Police descend down the mine shaft where Raymond Kehlet was found. Picture: Twitter/Rebecca Johns, Nine News Perth

Kehlet inquest: WA Coroner's court hears something was wrong at the  couple's camp

A police map of the Sandstone area being searched for clues to the Raymond and Jennie Kehlet Sandstone mystery.

Search for missing WA prospectors, Jennie and Raymond Kehlet, enters fifth day


The search for two missing prospectors in Western Australia has entered the fifth day.

Jennie Kehlet, 49, and Raymond Kehlet, 47, were last seen on March 22 in a remote part of WA's Goldfields region.

They were prospecting near an area called Table Top, just out of Sandstone, 730 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Police said they were alerted to the fact the couple was missing when their dog was spotted in town.

They said the dog walked about 25 kilometres into the town caravan park from the campsite, one week after the couple was last seen.

The dog had a microchip registered with the Town of Beverly and authorities were able to contact relatives and find out where the owners were.

When police visited the campsite, they found no sign of the couple and spoiled food indicated they had been missing for some time.

Specialist teams have scoured disused mine shafts in the area, but found no trace of the Kehlets.

Inspector Scott Morrissey said the Kehlets were not experienced prospectors.

Inspector Morrissey said their vehicles were found at their campsite at Table Top.

"They're not experienced prospectors - our understanding is it's their second time of prospecting," he said.

"However, they are reasonably comfortable camping in the bush. They certainly had plenty of food and plenty of water at their campsite."

Search centre set up in Sandstone

A search coordination centre has been set up at the Shire of Sandstone.

Shire president Beth Walton said everyone was hoping the couple would be found.

"The bush is a very harsh environment, it's just so easy to get lost," she said.

"I've lived up here all my life and I know myself, if I was to go out - especially on a cloudy day - and I wasn't aware of my surroundings, I could get lost very easily."

Ms Walton said the search area included flat and rocky terrain, as well as a lot of dense bush and 100-year-old mine shafts, which specialist teams searched yesterday .

She emphasised the need to take safety precautions while camping and exploring in the bush.

"People should always carry a personal beacon locater, which is just a small EPIRB that can fit in their pocket or a satellite spot, which tells you and your family and friends, exactly where you are," she said.

"When you go out, always tell someone exactly where you're going to be and making a time to call in if you are camping out in the bush."

Relatives of the couple from the Wheatbelt town of Beverley told the ABC they "can't speak highly enough" of those involved in the search, including police, SES, and search and rescue crews.

They also said the Shire of Sandstone had been "incredible".


Search continues for prospectors Raymond and Jennie Kehlet missing in WA Goldfields

Updated - ABC

More than 45 people will search an area spanning 19-square kilometres today looking for two prospectors missing for more than a fortnight in the remote Western Australian Goldfields.

Raymond Kehlet, 47, and Jennie Kehlet, 49, were last seen near Sandstone.

The couple's dog was found dehydrated and emaciated at a caravan park after it walked 30 kilometres from their camp site more than a week ago.

Specialist State Emergency Service and police have travelled to the site from Perth to take over from tired emergency workers who have spent days looking for the Kehlets.

Meanwhile, a 53-year-old man remains missing in the Goldfields.

It is believed John Jimenez is prospecting in Laverton but failed to check in with family on Sunday.

Relatives last heard from him on March 27.


Human remains found in mine shaft amid search for missing WA prospectors


Police searching for a missing married couple who were prospecting in Western Australia's Goldfields have found human remains in an abandoned mine shaft, but they are not believed to belong to the missing pair.

Skeletal remains were found in the mine shift near Sandstone on Wednesday, while search crews were scanning the area for 49-year-old Jennie Kehlet and her husband 47-year-old Raymond Kehlet.

The identity of the human remains is unknown.

Police forensic officers have been sent to the scene.

Search teams will continue to look for the couple from Beverley, who were last seen camping in an area called Table Top more than two weeks ago.

They were prospecting near the area, which is just out of Sandstone, 730 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Police said they were alerted to the fact the couple were missing when their dog was spotted in town.

They said the dog walked about 25 kilometres into the town caravan park from the campsite, one week after the couple were last seen.

The dog had a microchip registered with the Town of Beverly and authorities were able to contact relatives and find out where the owners were.

Search called off for prospectors missing in WA's Goldfields

Posted - ABC

The search for two prospectors missing in a remote patch of Western Australia's northern Goldfields has been suspended.

Raymond Kehlet, 47, and Jennie Kehlet, 49, have been missing from near the small town of Sandstone for more than three weeks.

They were last seen in an area called Table Top on March 22.

An expansive air and ground search involving specialist SES workers failed to uncover any trace of the husband and wife.

Searchers scoured abandoned mine shafts in their hunt for the missing couple.

Ms Kehlet is described as fair skinned, with a medium build, approximately 157 centimetres tall, with brown hair and green eyes.

She was last seen wearing a yellow fluorescent-coloured work shirt.

Mr Kehlet is described as fair skinned, with a medium build, approximately 170cm tall, with brown hair and blue eyes, and was wearing blue clothes.

Police said inquiries would continue.

Bones found in mineshaft are missing prospector Raymond Keith Kehlet

Updated - ABC

Human remains found during the search for missing WA prospectors near Sandstone have been identified as belonging to Raymond Keith Kehlet.

Police say family members have been notified.

Jennie Kehlet, 49, and her husband Raymond Kehlet, 47 have not been seen since March 22.

Skeletal remains found in an abandoned mine shaft last week were not believed to belong to the missing pair.

Police have now confirmed they were those of Mr Kehlet.

The couple, from Beverley, were prospecting near an area called Table Top, just out of Sandstone, 730 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Police said the couple were not experienced prospectors but were comfortable camping in the bush.

The area they were in is remote bushland with numerous old mine diggings and mine shafts.

Police found the couple's campsite all set up with two vehicles, and plenty of food and water.

There was also a four-wheel drive quad bike found in close proximity to the campsite.

Police said they were alerted to the fact the couple were missing when their dog was spotted in town.

They said the dog walked about 25 kilometres into the town caravan park from the campsite, one week after the couple were last seen.

The dog had a microchip registered with the Town of Beverley and authorities were able to contact relatives and find out where the owners were.

Missing WA prospectors: No evidence of foul play in Kehlets' disappearance, police say

By Nicolas Perpitch - ABC


There is no evidence of criminality in the death of a prospector and the disappearance of his wife in remote West Australian bushland almost a month ago, police say.

Jennie and Raymond Kehlet's family today appealed to the public for any information and described their anguish at not knowing what had happened to their loved ones.

"We've had devastating news with Ray," Mrs Kehlet's son, Darcy, said.

"The unknown of mum is just adding to this."

Police revealed Mrs Kehlet, 49, was most likely carrying a GPS, chain and rope, a metal detector and metal detector coil when she and her husband went missing.

The couple, from Beverley, had been prospecting near an area called Table Top, just outside Sandstone, 730 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Mr Kehlet's skeletal remains were found in a mine shaft about 1.8 kilometres from the campsite on April 8. No trace of Ms Kehlet has so far been found.

You can come up with 1,001 scenarios and we're probably never going to have an answer until we find Jennie.
Raymond Kehlet's brother Malcolm

Police want the public to contact them if they have found any of the items they believe she was carrying.

Detective Superintendent Anthony Lee said they had not drawn any conclusions on what may have happened to the Kehlets.

"At this point in time, I'm saying to you there is no evidence of any criminality," he said.

"However, we are making sure we investigate thoroughly and look at all the possible reasons."

Police consider different scenarios

Superintendent Lee did not discount the possibility Mrs Kehlet was already prospecting when Mr Kehlet went looking for her, or that Mr Kehlet fell down the 12-metre mine shaft and she then became disoriented.

"It's very difficult, you can become easily disoriented in that area because of the undulation of the ground. There are very few landmarks," he said.

Mr Kehlet's brother Malcolm, who did not want his surname used, said it was impossible to know what had happened at this stage.

"You can come up with 1,001 scenarios and we're probably never going to have an answer until we find Jennie," he said.

"And what we're doing today is emphasising that we need to find Jennie."

On March 28, the Kehlet's dog, a great dane, was found at the Sandstone Caravan Park.

Local authorities discovered the dog's owners using a micro-chip implant.

They then found the couple's intact campsite and they were formally reported missing to WA police on March 31, starting an extensive land search covering 11 square kilometres.

An air search using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft scoured 625 square kilometres of the isolated area.

Darcy said the dog normally never left their side and it was odd that it had gone all the way to Sandstone without them.

He said it was the couple's first prospecting trip but they were otherwise very experienced campers.

"As [police have] said, at this stage of the game there's absolutely no evidence to suggest anything criminal's happened," he said.

"Obviously with so many unanswered questions, we're not ruling anything out."


Family of prospecting couple desperate for answers after Raymond Kehlet found dead and Jennie Kehlet still missing

THE desperate family of a pair of prospectors who have been missing for weeks in rural WA are still “hoping for a happy answer” in the search for their mum.

Like many prospectors before them, Raymond and Jennie Kehlet headed out to the picturesque mid-west region of Western Australia hoping to strike it rich.

They were experienced campers but prospecting novices, having recently developed the gold-digging bug.

It’s been more than a month since the pair were reported missing, and their family is still desperate to find Jennie.

Hope is lost for Raymond. The search for the missing couple saw the Beverley father found dead earlier this month, his body located in a mineshaft approximately 1.8km from the campsite.

The search failed to locate Mrs Kehlet, and it’s torturing the family.

Braving the media, Mrs Kehlet’s son Darcy pleaded for answers in a press conference with WA police yesterday.

“It’s a big jigsaw puzzle we are fumbling with at the minute,” he said.

“Anything we can get our hands on would be a big help. Knowledge is what we are after at the minute.”

Mr Kehlet’s daughter Charmaine said the family last spoke to Raymond on March 17.

She said the family were hoping Jennie was still alive.

Jennie and her husband were formally reported missing after their dog was found at the Sandstone caravan park, its microchip leading to the identity of its owners.

An extensive land and air search covering 625 square kilometres failed to find Mrs Kehlet, and police have once again appealed for information.

Police believe Mrs Kehlet somehow got lost in the outback and may have been in possession of the couple’s prospecting equipment at the time.

Police have released images of ropes, a metal detector, and a GPS device they believe Mrs Kehlet may have been carrying and could have discarded along the way.

Anyone who has travelled to the Sandstone area and sees these items is urged to record the GPS location of the items and contact police immediately.

Police refused to make public the cause of Mr Kehlet’s death, but said there was nothing that suggested criminality.

Investigations continue into both Mr Kehlet’s death and Mrs Kehlet’s disappearance.

“You can come up with a thousand and one scenarios, and really, we’re probably never going to have an answer until we find Jennie,” Malcolm Kehlet, Raymond’s brother, said.

Search for information into missing prospector and death of her husband expanded

By Nicolas Perpitch - ABC


Police will expand their search in connection with the disappearance of Jennie Kehlet and the death of her husband Raymond Kehlet in remote West Australian bushland.

They are hoping to find prospecting equipment, including a metal detector, GPS and rope and chain, they believe could shed light on what happened to the couple.

The Kehlets had been prospecting near an area called Table Top, near Sandstone, 730 kilometres north-east of Perth shortly before they were reported missing on March 31.

Police, other emergency services officers, shire workers and local residents started an extensive search for the couple from Beverley, east of Perth.

On April 8, the skeletal remains of Mr Kehlet, 47, were found at the bottom of a mine shaft about 1.8 kilometres from the couple's campsite.

But so far authorities have found no trace of Ms Kehlet, 49.

The initial search ended about a fortnight ago, but police and the couple's family have since appealed to the public for any information on the lost items.

Later this week, police will resume the search over a broader area and revisit previously searched areas.

At the same time, the Major Crime Squad will continue its investigations into Mr Kehlet's death and Ms Kehlet's disappearance.

Late last month, Detective Superintendent Anthony Lee said there was no evidence of any criminality in the case.

Mrs Kehlet's son, Darcy, said at that time the news of his stepfather's death had been devastating.

"The unknown of mum is just adding to this," he said.

Police are remaining in close contact with the Kehlet family.

They asked anyone who found any of the missing items to record the GPS location and contact police immediately.



Major Crime Squad update on Raymond and Jennie Kehlet Sandstone mystery

July 6, 2015 3:47pm
The prospecting couple Jennie and Raymond Kehlet on their wedding day. Picture supplied: Nine News Perth

THE search for Jennie Kehlet, who went missing while prospecting with her husband in WA’s northern Goldfields four months ago, is being expanded.

But the wife and mother is not expected to be found alive.

Mrs Kehlet’s husband, Raymond, 47, was found dead at the bottom of a 12-metre deep disused mine shaft in April, more than three weeks after he and his wife Jennie, 49, were last seen camping about 30km away from the Sandstone Caravan Park.

Mrs Kehlet is yet to be found.

Major Crime Division Detective Superintendent Alan Morton said the new search will take in an expanded area, including local landmarks Table Top Tower and a disused mine, “and some fresh places of interest”.

“We now believe it’s a recovery mission,” Det Supt told reporters. More than 2000 hectares have been searched so far, including more than 130 disused mine shafts.

Police now say an area to the east warrants investigation.

“It’s part of the ongoing investigation and also for the sake of completeness,” he told ABC radio on Monday.

“There isn’t any startling new evidence which is directing the search efforts, however, it is appropriate due to the significance of these local landmarks just outside the two search areas, so it is worthwhile.

“Unfortunately, there’s been no specific information — this is just taking advice from our external land search and rescue experts.”

Det Supt Morton said police were trying to identify potential witnesses in the Sandstone area in mid- to late-March who haven’t yet come forward.

“It’s an area that we know is frequented by travellers and prospectors, so it is in fact quite possible that someone with information relevant to our inquiry has been out of contact in recent months.”

The expanded search will cover a mobile phone tower, the disused Bell Chambers mine and two areas identified by GPS co-ordinates highlighted in the couple’s notebook, which do not correspond to known tracks.

The search will resume on July 20 for a week or two.

For Ms Kehlet’s daughter Kelly, it’s now about closure.

“It’s hard to move through the steps of grief when you don’t have anyone to mourn,” she said.

“I would love to have my mother return to me alive and safe but it’s been months.

“We have to be realistic about these sorts of things.” Mr Kehlet’s brother Malcolm has spent sleepless nights wondering what happened to his sibling.

“You can drive yourself crazy trying to think of something that fits,” he said.

“It’s all very confusing and doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.”

The couple, from Beverley, were experienced campers, and it was their first prospecting trip outside their own property


Family of dead and missing prospectors still searching for answers




Exactly six years after the disappearance of a prospecting couple in a remote part of Western Australia their family are still seeking answers.

Raymond and Jennie Kehlet went missing in March 2015 near Sandstone, sparking one of the most expensive searches in WA history.

Mr Kehlet’s body was found down an abandoned mineshaft but Mrs Kehlet has never been found.

A coronial inquest into their disappearances was held early last year and the coroner is yet to formally hand down her findings.

Mrs Kehlet’s former husband Jim Keegans told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett it has been a “traumatic experience” for their three grown children.


“We thought we would have heard something by now,” he said.

“It’s tough on everyone concerned … obviously there is a lot of hurt there for the kids.”

Mr Keegans said they still hold hope that Mrs Kehlet’s body will be found to provide closure to the family.

“Hopefully somebody stumbles across Jenny and we can get some answers that way.”


Coroner finds Raymond Kehlet murdered in remote WA, missing wife Jennie also dead

By Joanna Menagh -ABC

The WA coroner has found a prospector who vanished with his wife in a remote part of the state was murdered, but it was not possible to identify the person responsible.

The body of Raymond Kehlet, 47, was found three weeks after he and his wife Jennie, 49, were last seen alive after travelling to Sandstone, about 700 kilometres north-east of Perth, in March 2015.

The Kehlets' plans included abseiling down mineshafts to look for gold as part of a search for what they called "the $3 million patch".

The couple's disappearance sparked the most expensive search in WA history.

Mrs Kehlet has never been found and in her findings released today, coroner Ros Fogliani said on the evidence before her, "the death of Jennie Kehlet had been established beyond all reasonable doubt" and she had "died tragically at or about the same time" as her husband.

Mr Kehlet's decomposing body was found down a mineshaft that had been searched before, but was randomly examined again so a media outlet could get vision of how the mineshafts were searched.

A postmortem examination was conducted and while Mr Kehlet's cause of death could not be determined, he was found to have a number of injuries, including fractures to his cheekbone and eye socket, two breaks in one of his ribs and damage to the left side of his neck.

'Violent' death result of homicide: coroner

In her findings, Ms Fogliani said it was "implausible" Mr Kehlet accidentally fell down the mineshaft, finding his injuries — particularly an injury to his hyoid bone — was a result "of blunt force trauma or manual strangulation".

"I find that Ray's death occurred as a result of homicide by a person or persons unknown."

Ms Fogliani said because she had found that an offence had been committed, a copy of her report would be provided to the Office of the WA Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The 2020 inquest into Mr Kehlet's death was told the last known person to see him and his wife alive, their friend Graham Milne, was considered by police to be a suspect in the case, but that was not accepted by the DPP.

Mr Milne had travelled to Sandstone with the Kehlets but left their campsite three days later in the middle of the night to return to Perth.

At the inquest Mr Milne denied having anything to do with the couple's disappearance. 

He initially declined to answer questions because of concerns his testimony may incriminate him, but he was compelled to do so by Ms Fogliani.

When he finished, the coroner said she was satisfied with his evidence and granted him a certificate of immunity, which means his testimony is not admissible in any criminal proceedings against him.

In October 2017, the state government offered a reward of $250,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Mr Kehlet and the disappearance of his wife.

'Missed opportunities' to find couple

In her findings, Ms Fogliani said it was important to state that the referral to the DPP was not made "by reason of any belief ... concerning any action or omission on the part of Mr Milne in relation to Ray or Jennie".

The coroner found the Kehlets died on or about March 22, 2015, but the inquest heard the alarm was not raised until nine days later, when their dog Ella was found wandering in the Sandstone townsite.

The coroner also outlined what she called "missed opportunities" to have found Mr Kehlet's body earlier. 

They included other prospectors and a police officer, who detected an odour in and around the mineshaft where Mr Kehlet's body was found a week before.

"Self-evidently, if credible information concerning an odour from a mineshaft had been promptly followed up by a descent into that mineshaft, Ray's body may have been discovered sooner," Ms Fogliani said.

"The result would have been that Ray's family would have had vital information and the nature of the search and related inquires would have been driven by this new information."

Ms Fogliani also dealt with the actual discovery of Mr Kehlet's body, which she said happened after the mineshaft was "randomly chosen" to be filmed by the media.

"It is a matter for some considerable consternation for Ray's family to know that his body was found essentially by accident and in response to a media-related event," she said.

"These feelings are understandable."

Family calls for justice

Following the public release of the report, Jennie's daughter and Ray's step-daughter, Kelly Keegans, wrote a heartfelt statement on behalf of the pair's five children.

"The last six years have been a torturous existence of uncertainty and grief. Questions left unanswered and speculation from strangers have left us all aching in ways that are beyond description," Ms Keegans said.

"Jen and Ray's family have always maintained that they met with foul play, and that their deaths were no accident.

"We are vindicated and heartbroken in equal measure that the Coroner shares our understanding of events. 

"We want to bring our mum home. We want to scatter her ashes at Meridum Ridge with Ray, so the inseparable pair can be together again."

Mr Kehlet's brother, Dave Kehlet, said in a statement the family could "only hope that the future brings more joy than the past".

"We are hopeful that the Director of Public Prosecutions may now have the confidence required to pursue justice for Ray and Jennie," he said.

"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the respect and patience the Coroner's Office offered our family during the inquest, and over this past year.

"And as always, we thank the WA Police for their diligence in attempting to solve this mystery, and for their proactive efforts to achieve justice for Ray and Jennie."

Police to continue homicide investigation

WA Police released a statement acknowledging the coroner's findings and saying they would be fully considered and assessed.

"WA Police Force notes the Coroner will provide a copy of her findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and officers will continue to work with that office on this matter," the statement said.

"The deaths of both Ray and Jennie continue to be investigated by Homicide Squad.

"It is an active and ongoing investigation, with a reward of $250,000 for anyone with information that leads to the prosecution of an offender/offenders. 

"We acknowledge the sad impact their deaths continue to have on Ray and Jennie's families, and detectives remain in close contact with them."