“Manda was very protective of her family and especially had an enormous love for her son. The way she looked at him with complete joy, delight and a touch of surprise remains with us today.”
The murder team has been working on the case for 30 years. Although they now have better ties to the community and better relationships with sex workers in the area, the lack of CCTV and modern forensics is holding them back.
The violence faced by sex workers in the area continues.
“Unfortunately, women involved in street sex work, and especially those who have access to our support, experience regular violence and it is too commonplace in their lives,” said Stacey Alangul, chief executive of St Kilda Gatehouse, which provides safe spaces for involved women. in street sex work in the neighborhood.
“The women do look out for each other. There are ways in which they communicate with each other via SMS to warn each other about persons of interest or perpetrators in the area.
“Violence is such an everyday occurrence for them, as a collective, that it’s normalized, and that’s really sad.”
The age reported in 2017 that Byrnes and Carol were working as a couple. If one of them got a job, the other would follow them back to their room and stand outside the door to make sure everything was okay.
But on the night of April 6, 1991, Carol, now deceased, had a toothache and decided not to work.
Just after midnight, Byrnes left the Esquire Motel on Fitzroy Street and made his way to Carlisle Street, arranging to meet Carol a short time later.
She wore black lycra leggings, a black lycra tube top, a navy blue woolly zip with a drawstring waist and hood, black suede stilettos and black fingerless gloves. Her clothes have never been recovered except for a single shoe that was found on Barkly Street.
A short time later, Byrnes got into a van with the man the police suspected of murdering her.
Witnesses said they saw a woman’s legs sticking out of the van’s passenger door. Police were told that the vehicle was driving erratically and witnesses were told that someone was trying to escape.
Byrnes’ body was discovered the next day near the Elwood Boating Club.
The police struggled to make headway in 1991, offering $50,000 to anyone who might know more, but the offer didn’t deliver the information they needed.
Detective Inspector Dean Thomas of the homicide squad said on Tuesday the case is still an active investigation — one that police believed was solvable.
Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd said she would consider exempting any person who has provided information about the identity of Byrnes’s killer from prosecution.
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