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SA police dig backyard in abduction case

Mon July 2, 2012 4:41pm

The backyard of a convicted man who was a suspect in the unsolved 1983 abduction of Adelaide schoolgirl Louise Bell is being examined again.

POLICE says new forensic testing appears encouraging but they don't want to give false hope to the distressed family of the 10-year-old who was abducted from her bedroom in Hackham West on January 3, 1983.

However, Detective-Superintendent Grant Moyle says police want to re-examine the backyard they first searched in 1991 with new technology, as part of their reopening of the cold case last year.

"We have examined closely the extent of investigations that were conducted in 1983, when Louise Bell went missing, Det Supt Moyle said.

"It is a result of that, that we felt for thoroughness we needed to fully examine the backyard more than they did in 1991.

"While current forensic testing initially appears encouraging, I don't want to raise the hopes of Louise's family unnecessarily.

"One of our objectives is to try to find Louise and return her to her parents who have been devastated for the last 29 years over this matter."

Det Supt Moyle says ground-penetrating radar equipment will be used over the next three or more days to examine the Hackham West home, which is about 900 metres from where Louise was abducted.

AdelaideNow reports the home once belonged to convicted child murderer Dieter Pfennig, who was jailed in 1992 for the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old schoolboy whose body was never found.

Det Supt Moyle did not confirm that information, only that the person of interest was in custody.

"We are searching for any evidence that might relate to Louise Bell or any other offences that might have been committed," he said.

Raymond John Bolte, formerly known as Raymond Geesing, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and abduction of Louise Bell in 1983.

His conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal two years later and he was freed from jail.

He was later jailed again for sexually abusing two sisters over an eight-year period in the 1990s.

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