29 Oct 2018 7:00pm
Nearly 21 years after her death, Heather Turner’s best friend has a simple message for a group of people SA Police believe have not told the full truth about the teenager’s murder: “It’s time to stand up and make a difference.”
The body of the bubbly 16-year-old was found dumped at Port Gawler on 31 January 1998, with the investigation into her death still an open, unsolved case.
Kali Edmonds (inset and right) last saw her friend on 16 January 1998, and had the difficult experience of calling Crime Stoppers two weeks later when she recognized jewellery shown in a television news report about an unidentified body located at Port Gawler.
Along with experienced investigators she has issued an appeal for those who have key information to speak up now, giving some peace to Heather’s family who has been waiting more than 20 years for answers.
The murder of Heather Turner is one of the cold cases being featured by police from the Major Crime Investigation Branch in a media series highlighted on Crime Stoppers TV partner, Channel 9 as part of Operation Persist.
Police have revealed that in the days after Ms Edmonds last saw her friend, they believe Heather was at a gathering at a property at Ashton Rd, Davoren Park, from about midday on 18 January until the next day.
Between four and eight people were at the property during the relevant period, with investigators of the view they have crucial information in this case.
Ms Edmonds, who remembers Heather as a happy, vibrant teenager who just wanted to have fun, spoke to Channel 9, with a simple message for those people: “It’s time to stand up and actually take action.”
“There’s family that’s been shattered and a mother that’s lain awake for 20 year wondering what happened to her beautiful daughter,” she said.
“I say it’s time just to stand up and make a difference. Have the courage, be brave and come forward to help a family heal.
“One person could make a huge difference in this. I understand that people have fears and reservations … but 20 years have passed now and I would say they should revisit those reasoning’s and see if they are still valid.”
Detective Brevet Sergeant Shaun Osborn, from Major Crime, also urged anyone with information in connection with the unsolved murder of Miss Turner to come forward and speak with investigators.
“I believe those people who have knowledge are the keys to assist us to solve a murder,” he said. “Police have tools and avenues available to assist people who have fears and reservations about coming forward.
“We believe Heather left the house, in the company of other people, with the intention of going home but she never made it.”
Police believe the teenager was murdered at an unknown location with her body moved to the Port Gawler area several days before her body was discovered.
She was fully dressed in the items of clothing she was last seen wearing on Friday 16 January, however the shoulder bag she had with her over the weekend – a distinctive Tweety Bird bag (similar to the one pictured) - was missing and has never been recovered by police.
Anyone with any information about the murder of Heather Turner is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://crimestopperssa.com.au/ - you can remain anonymous.
A reward of up to $1 million is offered for information in this case leading to the apprehension/conviction of the person or people responsible for Heather’s murder.
* At 12.30pm on Friday 16 January 1998 16-year-old Heather Turner was expected home at Gulf Court, Largs Bay.
* The teenager parted company with a girlfriend, Kali Edmonds at the Semaphore foreshore about 1pm that day.
* A number of unconfirmed sightings of her later that day and the next have been reported to police.
* Police have confirmed that from mid-afternoon on Sunday 18 January she was at a rental property on Ashton Rd, Davoren Park with a group of acquaintances.
* She left that address in a car in company with a man in the early hours of Monday 19 January intending to return home to her parent’s house.
* Her fully clothed body was discovered at 8pm on 31 January 1998.