KASAMA Vol. 14 No. 2 / April-May-June 2000 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

The Advertiser on June 20, 2000 reported that Wlodzimierz Strzelecki, 73, who was known as Jim, was found dead in his home at Clare, South Australia. He apparently took his own life.

His wife, Annabel Sabellano Strzelecki, has not been seen since she supposedly left home in the early hours of June 6, 1998. Her disappearance is being treated as a major crime.

After Mrs Strzelecki disappeared, her husband told police she had left with a man and a woman he had never met before that night. But friends insisted she would never have left her young children. The couple had lived in the Clare, South Australia area since 1989. They married in the Philippines when Annabel was 19 years old and Strzelecki, a former opal miner, was 63.

According to the newspaper, Mr Strzelecki said publicly he was not sorry she had gone. During an interview with The Advertiser he said, "No, I'm not upset. Do you expect me to be the grieving husband? It was not a happy marriage."

The officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, Acting Superintendent Bill Prior, said that despite Mr Strzelecki's suicide, the inquiry into Annabel's disappearance and suspected murder would continue but he could not comment on specific details of the case. "He [Strzelecki] was one person we spoke to during the investigation," he said. "It [Mr Strzelecki's death] does not change the fact that we still need to find her."

Police reporter, Jeremy Pudney, of The Advertiser wrote that Mrs Strzelecki withdrew a small amount of cash from a bank the day before she vanished but never touched the account again. Police searched for her body in waterways and disused mine shafts throughout the area, in a camping spot near Port Augusta and in the couple's backyard. A van hired by Strzelecki in the same month that Annabel disappeared, in which he travelled some 1,500 km, was impounded by the police and tested for forensic evidence.

Annabel Strzelecki

Date of Birth:

3 August 1969

Description: Thin, petite build. Shoulder length straight black hair.

Height: 150cms (4ft 11ins)

If you have any information please contact your local police station or phone the National Missing Persons Unit on 02 6243 5666.