COOBER PEDY News & Events


Karen Williams missing since August 1990

Major Crime Detectives have identified a suspect in the 1990 disappearance of Karen Michelle Williams from Coober Pedy

The suspect was identified following a review of the historic case. New information was unearthed and as a result the suspect was identified.  He has been spoken to by Detectives and a sample of his DNA has been taken.

This month marks the 22nd anniversary of her disappearance. There is a  $200,000 reward offered to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest.

Major Crime Detective Brevet Sergeant Paul Ward is leading the review and said that inquiries have also taken place in Victoria and Western Australia.

Detectives can’t at this stage reveal what the new information is, as it may compromise the investigation.

“We believe that these new enquiries may identify more people who know something.  I hope that after 22 years someone will have the moral courage to now come forward,” he said.

“We now have a renewed focus and direction to this investigation.”

Do you know what happened to Karen?

Karen’s story

16-year-old Karen Michelle Williams disappeared from near Dawes Street and Medway Drive, Coober Pedy on Saturday, 4 August 1990 between 5am and 6am.

Above: Google map of the area Karen Williams was last seen

In October 1990 her disappearance was declared a Major Crime.

Major Crime detectives established that Karen had been at the Opal Inn, Coober Pedy on the evening of Friday, 3 August 1990 and into the early hours of Saturday, 4 August.

At about 3am, Karen left the Opal Inn with a number of friends and went to Sergio’s Restaurant on Hutchinson Street.

Sometime around 5am, Karen left the restaurant with three friends and they were all  driven to the corner of Medway Drive and Lehman Place by a young local man.

Karen’s friends got out of the vehicle there and went to a nearby property, while the local man drove Karen a short distance further to Dawes Street, where she was allegedly dropped off. Karen has not been seen since. 

Above: Google image of Dawes and Medway Streets where Karen Williams was allegedly dropped off.

During that time, more than 115 statements were taken, with police enquiries also conducted in the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

Police are particularly interested if anyone saw a red or orange Datsun 180B in the vicinity of Tomcat Road and Oodnadatta Road in the early hours of August 4.

If you know anything about this crime it’s not too late to come forward. Please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or report  online at if you can help

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