The cold case murder of toddler Cheryl Grimmer is likely to forever remain unsolved after the state's top prosecutor chose not to pursue the case against the man who allegedly took her from Fairy Meadow beach almost five decades ago.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Lloyd Babb SC, confirmed on Wednesday he would not appeal a Supreme Court decision to rule out a key piece of evidence linked to three-year-old Cheryl's death in January 1970.
The move has prompted Attorney-General Mark Speakman to demand an explanation from the DPP.
"The tragedy of Cheryl Grimmer’s death is undiminished by the near five decades since she was taken," Mr Speakman said.
"I cannot imagine the burden of grief suffered by her loved ones since that time.
"I am keenly aware that the decision by the independent Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charge will come as a further blow."
Mr Speakman said the DPP would meet with police.
"The NSW Police Force is continuing to consider the court's decision and is exploring its legal options," a spokeswoman said.
The DPP declined to comment when contacted by the Mercury.
The man accused of murdering Cheryl, who can't be named because he was underage at the time, had been due to go to trial in May.
However, a crucial piece of evidence against him - a 90-minute interview with police in April 1971, in which he allegedly confessed to killing Cheryl - was last month deemed inadmissible.
On February 15, Justice Robert Allan Hulme ruled the then-teenager's police interview could not be used in evidence against him.
The DPP had already conceded their case against the man relied on the interview being played and the charge had no hope of being proven beyond reasonable doubt without it.
They had little choice but to withdraw the charge - and their case - against the man.
Outlining his decision, Justice Hulme referred to reports from two psychiatrists who agreed the then-teenager had a low average intelligence, was immature and more vulnerable than the average 17-year-old as a result of his disturbed upbringing.
He also raised concern the then-teen had been interviewed without a parent, adult or legal practitioner present - despite that not being a legal or police requirement at the time.
Cheryl vanished from a shower block at Fairy Meadow beach about 1.30pm on January 12, 1970. Her body has never been found.
Outside court on February 15, Cheryl's brother, Ricki, told Ten News his family wanted answers.
"Someone's gotta be accountable for this," he said, accusing his sister's alleged killer of hiding behind a technicality.
Mr Speakman said: "I’m advised that the family members in this case have been kept informed by both NSW Police and the ODPP and support has been provided by Victims Services (within the Department of Justice)".
The Attorney-General cannot appeal the Supreme Court’s decision, require the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal it, or require the Director of Public Prosecutions to continue the prosecution.