Jane Nartare, Arnna Kathleen, and Grant Ellis are known as the Beaumont children. On January 26, 1966, the three siblings disappeared in Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia. They were never found.
When they disappeared, the children were nine, seven, and four years old. Soon, they became the highest-profile missing person cases in this part of the world to date.
A Trip To The Beach
It was a sunny holiday day, 1966, when Nancy Beaumont saw her three children for the last time. She gave them some coins to buy ice cream on the beach and waved goodbye. That would be their farewell forever.
Jane, 9, Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4, caught the bus to the beach. They lived in the southern Australian suburb of Glenelg. The journey took only a few minutes. They'd be back for lunch, they said to their mother.
When the food was on the table, the children weren't there. They would come, thought Nancy Beaumont, as she later told the police.
At 2 p.m., her husband came home, but not the children. Maybe they just forgot the time, the parents hoped. Another hour passed. Nancy and Jim Beaumont got nervous. They got into their car and drove across the entire beach. Nobody had seen their three children.
At 7:30 p.m., they reported the Beaumont children missing. It was the beginning of a search that is still unproductive 56 years later.
The case of the Beaumont children is one of Australia's most mysterious missing person cases. It is also the most extensive and longest search for perpetrators in the country's history. The case quickly drew international attention. Detectives, journalists, and parents worldwide were puzzled how three siblings could suddenly vanish without a trace.
A documentary by the Australian broadcaster Foxtel dug deeper into the matter. According to it, Nancy Beaumont said her children were loyal and loving adding they would never run away. The eldest daughter was extremely intelligent and would protect her younger siblings from strangers.
The parents did not believe that they could have drowned. Beaumont children knew that they should only swim within sight of other people and in groups.
Were the Beaumont Children victims of a pedophile?
The Beaumont children case is seen as a turning point in Australia. The police asked for help, and they received thousands of calls. The participation of other parents in the Beaumont children case was enormous. Parents started to think they couldn't let their kids play unsupervised, which was common until this tragic case.
In time, several witnesses came in. They said they saw the children accompanied by a blond, thin man on the day of their disappearance. A woman told Australia's Channel 7 that she saw a man helping Jane get dressed on the beach. That struck her as odd.
It was unofficially considered inevitable from this point on: the three children had fallen victim to a pervert. A pervert who, the police suspect, lured them by offering them a cake.
Nine-year-old Jane was spotted buying cakes from a shop near the beach. That was not unusual - the strange thing was that she was paying with a banknote. This information was found by Channel 7 research. However, Jane's mother, Nancy, knew that her daughter Jane had not brought any money with her. She had only given her coins. The fear of a possible pedophile offense against the Beaumont children grew.
A sketch of the suspect was made, but he was never identified. The parents did not believe that their children had been killed despite everything. For a long time, no evidence led to a perpetrator. So, the investigating officers tried an unconventional tactic. They had the famous, albeit controversial, parapsychologist Gerard Croiset flown in from Holland. A sign of how desperate and helpless the parents and the detectives were at this point.
The parapsychologist said he had special abilities. In fact, according to Channel 7, he has given the police exceptional service on past cases. He often came across clues that the police themselves had not yet considered. In the case of the Beaumont children, too, Croiset said he had found a lead.
Parapsychologist Gerard Croiset Believes The Beaumont Children Were Buried Alive
Croiset led the officials to a factory in Adelaide. He was convinced that the three children's bodies would lie under the ground of this factory. They may have been buried alive, he said. The state forbade having the ground under the factory searched. Only many years later, the police would follow the trail.
At the time, the parents of the missing Beaumont children continued to cling to any glimmer of hope. They still believed their children might be alive. Cold-blooded strangers took advantage of that.
Two years after the disappearance, the Beaumonts suddenly received a mysterious letter. An anonymous man claimed he would deliver the children to their parents at a particular location. However, no one showed up at the agreed meeting point.
After analyzing the handwriting and fingerprints, detectives identified the letter's writer. According to reports from the Australian police, he had made a joke that no one but himself would ever find funny.
In 2013, Channel 7 finally undertook its search for a possible perpetrator. The journalists came across Harry P., a businessman. They suspected him because his son claimed to have seen the Beaumont children at his family home. He also said his father had abused him as a child.
The police searched various properties of the man, but this trail led to nothing. They found no clue.
The Mother Waited For Her Children Until Her Death
The investigations continue to this day. The authorities finally searched the ground under the factory, which the parapsychologist had found so suspicious at the time. They dug up the earth with excavators, forensic scientists, and anthropologists. They uncovered bones of animals - but no remains of the Beaumont children.
One of the detectives in charge, Mostyn Matters, told Channel 7 he still could not forget the case many years later. Over the years, Nancy Beaumont had never given up hope that her children would return one day. The three children's rooms in her house are untouched to this day.
Nancy passed away in 2019, at the age of 92. The grieving mother waited in vain for decades for her missing children. She never knew what became of Jane, Arnna, and Grant. Until her death, Nancy lived near the village of Glenelg, where her children once disappeared. Even her husband never left the place, despite the terrible events and the divorce that followed.
The parents wanted to be there if the Beaumont children would come home one day. To this day, there is still hope they will.