Coroner says Amber's dead

By Ken Grimson
Updated November 7 2012 - 4:10am, first published July 8 2011 - 1:51pm
FAMILY: Melissa Hodder and her mother Rosalind Wright hold a photograph of Amber Haigh that was taken in 2002 just before she vanished. Pictures: Addison Hamilton

Stories by Ken GrimsonTHE unsolved homicide squad will now have the task of solving the disappearance of teenage mother Amber Haigh after a coroner yesterday delivered a finding that she was dead but the evidence at her inquest did not allow him to answer the many riddles surrounding the case.Deputy state coroner Scott Mitchell formally found that 19-year-old Amber probably died in early June 2002 as a result of homicide or other misadventure."But the evidence does not permit me to be more specific as to the cause or manner of her death or to say how she died," Mr Mitchell said in his published findings handed down at the Young Court House to end an inquest held over five days at Parramatta last month and two days at Young this week.Amber was the mother of a six-month-old boy fathered by Young man Robert Geeves when Mr Geeves and his wife Anne reported Amber missing to police on June 19, 2002.They told police they had driven Amber from Young to the Campbelltown railway station on June 5 so she could catch a train to Mt Druitt to see her father Geoffrey, who was in hospital there.There has been no trace of Amber since then despite a nine-year police investigation that was commended yesterday by Mr Mitchell.The Geeveses have been the primary targets of the investigation, but no charges have been laid.The inquest has heard suggestions the Geeveses ? who were more than 20 years older than Amber ? used her as a surrogate to give them a second child following Mrs Geeves suffering four miscarriages and one stillbirth."In their quest for a child they were prepared for the alienation of their son, Robbie, and for the inevitable humiliation of Anne Geeves," Mr Mitchell said."How far else they might be prepared to go is unclear."The Geeveses this week exercised their right to silence and refused to answer questions at the inquest when called to give evidence on Monday.Speaking after the coroner delivered his findings, Amber's mother Rosalind Wright repeated her intentions to continue looking for her daughter's body. "I am not going to give up," Ms Wright said.