Coronial Findings

Record of Investigation into Death

Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Regulations 1996
Regulation 14
Form 4

I, Peter Henric Wilson, Coroner, having investigated a death of


WITH AN INQUEST HELD AT Launceston Coroners Court in Tasmania on the 30th day of October, 2003


Nancy Grunwaldt was born on the 5th day of February 1967 at Flensburg, Germany and at the time of her disappearance was aged 26 year(s).

Nancy Grunwaldt was a single woman whose occupation at the time of her disappearance was a Travel Agent.

I find that Nancy Grunwaldt died on the East Coast of Tasmania between St Helens and Bicheno on the 12th day of March 1993 as the result of foul play by a person or persons unknown.

At the time at the time of the deceased's person's death she was not being treated by a medical practitioner.



On the 15th day of April 1993, a Reverend Ivor Jones of South Australia reported Grunwaldt as a Missing Person to Victoria Police and enquires were commenced. On the 19th of April 1993 Tasmania Police were advised of the situation and commenced an investigation into her disappearance. Grunwaldt was last known to be in Tasmania and she made no further contact with her parents after the 11th of March 1993.

Tasmania Police received the missing person report on the 19th of April 1993, nearly six (6) weeks after the last confirmed sighting on Friday the 12th of March 1993. The initial investigation was centred around Devonport and was under the direction of (then) Inspector Ivan Dean of Devonport Police (since retired). Inspector Dean had charge of the investigation from the 10th of April 1993 to the 14th of May 1993.

During the course of the investigation the following information was obtained:-

  • On the 8th of July 1992, Grunwaldt departed Germany and travelled to New Zealand where she stayed until the 6th of March 1993. During her time in New Zealand, she attended the Capernwray Bible College at Glendene, Auckland.
  • After completing a course at the bible college, she remained in New Zealand where between the 3rd of February 1993 and the 2nd of March 1993, her parents visited her and they toured New Zealand. Her parents returned to Germany and she remained in New Zealand until the 6th of March 1993, when she departed the Auckland Airport on United Airlines to travel to Melbourne, Australia.
  • Grunwaldt's intention when leaving New Zealand was to travel around Australia for two to three months. She had several contacts to visit including a pen friend in Hobart, Tasmania. She indicated that she intended to hire a bike to travel around on and was to travel to Adelaide, South Australia to visit Pastor Jones.
  • She departed Melbourne at 3.30 pm on the 6th of March 1993 on flight 6455 (Kendall Airlines), arriving at Devonport at 4.40 pm.
  • Once in Devonport, Grunwaldt booked into the YHA Youth Hostel at Middle Road, Devonport where she stayed for three (3) nights being the 6th, 7th and 8th of March 1993 (confirmed by entry in registration book at hostel)
  • On Sunday the 7th of March 1993, it is believed that she attended the Devonport Baptist Church.
  • On Monday the 8th of March 1993, Grunwaldt went to the Tas Travel Centre in Rooke Street, Devonport and paid a $40 deposit for a one (1) one way ticket on the Abel Tasman for travel on the 4th of April 1993. She failed to travel on the Abel Tasman on this date.
  • On the same date, Grunwaldt went to the Westpac Bank at Devonport where she exchanged $6,000 of New Zealand currency into Australian currency which she deposited into an account. The total amount received upon exchanging the currency was $4,474.94. She withdrew $300 at that time from the account. She arranged for a new card and PIN number to be forwarded to the Hobart branch, to be collected in about a week's time.
  • On the morning of Tuesday the 9th of March 1993, Grunwaldt went to an address at 51 Raymond Avenue, Devonport where she hired a red Road Chief Marauder Mountain Bike from a Trevor James Goss who operates a bike hire service. She paid $100 for two (2) weeks rent and $30 deposit for the bike. At the time she stated that she would return the bike on the 22nd of March 1993. She left her backpack with Goss, which contained some items, stating that she would be unable to take these items on the bike and would collect them at the time of returning the bike. Grunwaldt failed to return the hired Mountain Bike and collect her personal belongings.
  • Her movements for the remainder of Tuesday the 9th of March 1993 remain unaccounted for. Despite extensive police enquiries between Devonport and Launceston, it is not known where she stayed overnight.
  • It is believed that Grunwaldt rode from Devonport to Launceston on the hired mountain bike.
  • On Wednesday 10th March 1993, she is recorded as having stayed at the Backpacker's Hostel at 139 George Street, Launceston.
  • On Thursday the 11th of March 1993 at 10.40 am, she withdrew $200 from her account at the Westpac Branch at Kings Meadows.
  • That day it is believed that she travelled from Launceston to St Helens on a Redline Coach. It is believed that she took her bike with her as freight and she stayed the night at the St Helens Hostel, situated in Cameron Street.
  • On Friday the 12th of March 1993, it is believed that she departed the St Helens Hostel sometime between approximately 9.30 am and 10.30 am. She travelled south on her bike and was last positively sighted at approximately 11.00 am that day, approximately 5 kms south of Scamander.
  • It was ascertained that Grunwaldt was likely to visit a pen-friend, Carolyn Hood of 5 Rose Bay Esplanade, Rose Bay whilst she was in Tasmania. They had met approximately two (2) years previous when they had gone on a two (2) week camping trip from Cairns to Sydney. Grunwaldt failed to visit or make contact with Hood.
  • Grunwaldt was due to visit Reverend Jones in Adelaide in South Australia, some time during her travels around Australia. She failed to make contact.

Media Coverage

Extensive media coverage was initiated into the whereabouts of Grunwaldt and as a result, a large number of sightings were reported, state-wide. As a result of her movements in the St Helens area, the focus of investigation moved primarily to the East Coast of Tasmania.

Enquiries were continued by Devonport Police until the 14th of May 1993 when the Commissioner of Tasmania Police directed that the status of the enquiry be upgraded to that of a major crime investigation. It was further directed that the responsibility for the investigation be transferred to the Northern Police District.

Further extensive media coverage was generated in relation to the disappearance and extensive police coverage was given to the area between St Helens and Bicheno. A large number of persons were interviewed and a critical analysis was conducted of the file resulting in a number of suspects being identified.

Overseas enquiries primarily in New Zealand and Germany through Interpol were conducted. The enquiries related to the interview of former associates and other international tourists who either stayed at hostels with Grunwaldt or otherwise met her in Tasmania.

Of concern to the investigation was Grunwaldt's whereabouts on the night of Tuesday the 9th of March 1993. It is clearly established that she left the YHA Hostel in Devonport earlier that day and that she spent the night of 10th March 1993 at Launceston. It is presumed that she rode her cycle from Devonport to Launceston, however there are no confirmed sightings. All guest houses, hostels etc., were checked but no record of her being at any of them exists for that night.

Enquiries were made with the bus companies with negative results.

Bank Account

On Monday the 8th of March 1993, Grunwaldt went to the Stewart Street branch of the Westpac Bank in Devonport. On that date, she opened an Account and deposited approximately A$4,500 by way of a New Zealand dollar draft of $6,000 purchased at the Westpac Bank, New Zealand. At the time, she produced a Passport and German driver's licence as identification. She withdrew $300 on that day.

During the course of the transaction and in general conversation, Grunwaldt stated her intention of being in Hobart in about a week's time and therefore requested that her new card and P.I.N. number be forwarded to a Hobart branch. Grunwaldt agreed with the suggestion that it be forwarded to the branch at 38 Elizabeth Street, Hobart.

Westpac microfiche records revealed that on Thursday the 11th of March 1993, a $200 withdrawal was effected on her account at the Kings Meadows Branch of the Westpac Bank by way of a signed withdrawal form. The time of the transaction was recorded as being 10.40 am.

Grunwaldt's account was not operated after that date

Summary of Movement

  • Saturday 6th March 1993:

Nancy Grunwaldt arrived in Tasmania from New Zealand, via Melbourne, Victoria. Stayed overnight at YHA Hostel in Middle Road, Devonport.

  • Sunday 7th March 1993:

Believed to have attended a church service in the morning. Stayed overnight at the same location in Devonport.

  • Monday 8th March 1993:

Attended the Tas Travel Centre in Rooke Street, Devonport and booked a one-way ticket to Melbourne on the Able Tasman ferry for travel on 4th April, 1993. It is known that she attended the Westpac Bank in Stewart Street, Devonport and deposited approximately $4,500. She then withdrew $300. Stayed overnight at the same location in Devonport.

  • Tuesday 9th March 1993:

In the morning she attended at 51 Raymond Avenue in Devonport and hired a bicycle from Trevor Goss. This was to be her means of transport around Tasmania. She left excess items with Goss to be collected on her return. She is believed to have departed Devonport on this date and travelled towards Launceston, however, it is not known where she stayed the night.

  • Thursday 11th March 1993:-

In the morning she attended the Westpac Bank at Kings Meadows in Launceston and withdrew $200.00. She stayed overnight in Launceston City Backpackers hostel.

Believed to have travelled from Launceston to St Helens on a Redline Coach, with the hired bicycle as freight. Stayed overnight at the St Helens Hostel.

  • Friday 12th March 1993:

Departed St Helens and rode south on her bicycle.

Intended departure date from Tasmania

Grunwaldt had booked the bicycle for the two week period from the 9th to the 22nd of March 1993. She did not have exact plans and she asked Goss if it was alright if she returned the bike on a bus or similar. In the event that she did not return to Devonport, she also asked Goss if he would forward her back pack onto her.

As previously mentioned, on Monday the 8th of March 1993, Grunwaldt booked a one-way ticket on the Abel Tasman ferry, for travel between Devonport and Melbourne on the 4th of April 1993. It is not known what her intentions were for the two week period between the 22nd of March and the 4th of April 1993.

Speculation may suggest that Grunwaldt was going to stay in Hobart with Carolyn Hood, and return the bike to Devonport on the bus.

Last confirmed sighting

On the morning of Friday the 12th of March 1993, Grunwaldt left the St Helens Hostel on her bicycle and road south through Beaumaris. It is believed that she stopped and walked on the Beaumaris Beach, and that she purchased a soft drink from the Surfside Motel. She then continued south.

The last confirmed sighting of Grunwaldt was by Christine Leidig and Tanja De Greve, fellow tourists who had spent the previous night with her at the St Helens Hostel.

They saw Grunwaldt at the Hostel that morning and they left sometime after her. They again saw her about 5 km south of Scamander, riding her bike south on the Tasman Highway. They have indicated that the time was approximately 11.00 am.

DeGreve stated that it was Leidig who recognised Grunwaldt after they had passed her. Leidig stated: "We did not talk with her, we only realised that it was Nancy as we had already passed her. I am so sure that it was her because she was the only one travelling by bike".


From witnesses, the last confirmed sighting of Nancy was approximately 5 kms south of Scamander on the Tasman Highway.

The Tasman Highway runs from Launceston to Hobart via Scottsdale and the East Cost towns of St Helens, Bicheno, Swansea, Orford and Sorell.

From St Helens to Orford, the Highway predominantly follows the coastline with the exception of turning inland through St Mary's and back to the coast.

From St Helens to the last known confirmed sighting, the highway follows the coast through Beaumaris and Scamander. It is the main access used by locals and tourists. There are a number of side roads which turn inland and form a network of gravel roads that stretch through to the Midland and Esk Highways.

The general area of the last sighting is unpopulated, it being semi-farming/forest area. There is a large tidal area known as Henderson Lagoon between the Highway and the beach.

Approximately 8.5 km south of Scamander (or approximately 3.5 km south of the last sighting), the Tasman Highway turns inland through the St Mary's Pass, St Mary's and Elephant Pass and back to the coast.

At the point of turning inland, the new Link Road turns left to Falmouth then closely follows the coast line through Four Mile Creek and then rejoins the Tasman Highway at Chains of Lagoons.

Nancy Grunwaldt grew up in Steinbergkirche, Northern Germany and completed her education there, aged 19 years. She commenced work as a travel agent at the age of 20 and was an experienced world traveller having visited 14 countries at different times. Apart from German, she also spoke fluent French and good English. She had previously visited Australia two years before this trip but had never been to Tasmania. She travelled alone on that previous occasion.

Her parents described her as a happy, open, energetic person with deep religious beliefs. To their knowledge she did not have a boyfriend. She made friends easily and was always well liked. Grunwaldt was in regular contact with her parents either by phone or mail and would not have willingly broken contact with them. Her last telephone contact with her parents was from Tasmania on Thursday the 11th of March 1993. She told them she was okay and was planning to go to Hobart to visit a female friend. She told them she planned returning to Germany on the 24th of June 1993.

Possible sightings of Grunwaldt

During the course of this investigation, in excess of 280 statements have been obtained from members of the public. The majority were taken during 1993, from people who believed they had sighted Grunwaldt in Tasmania. Some may well have been legitimate sightings of Grunwaldt or her bicycle, however they could not be corroborated further.

Searches conducted during the course of the investigation

In 1993, Tasmania Police conducted extensive searches in an effort to locate Grunwaldt, the hired bicycle and/or her personal possessions. In excess of thirty days were committed to these searches and at its height, 46 personnel were involved on a daily basis. Personnel involved in the searches were from various sections of Tasmania Police, including: Northern Search and Rescue, Diving Squad, Academy Recruit, Bicycle Squad and C.I.B. members.

Since 1993, searches have been conducted as required, with the last search being conducted in January 2003, in an area of bush in the Hardings Falls area on the East Coast. This search followed information received as to a possible suspect.

Description of searches conducted

Road searches were initially conducted of the Tasman Highway from St Helens to Swansea including the Coles Bay Road. The Police Rescue Helicopter was utilised to conduct aerial searches of the Tasman Highway between St Helens and Bicheno and also the coastal foreshore.

After information was received, an intensive land search was conducted of the roadside between St Mary's and Fingal. Police divers also searched the Break O'Day River near the road bridge.

Land searches were conducted of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park areas in response to information that Grunwaldt had been seen in this area.

After an evaluation of the file and of information that was being received, a decision was made that an intensive search would be conducted of the road verges of the Tasman Highway and Link Road from St Helens to Bicheno. Beach resorts, picnic grounds, coastal areas and walking tracks were also searched along with the entrance road to the Douglas Apsley National Park.

Witnesses who have spoken to Grunwaldt since her arrival in Tasmania, provided conflicting versions as to the route she was going to take on her bike, that is, either the Coastal Link Road or St Mary's Pass.

It was known though speaking with her parents that Grunwaldt was an outgoing type person and had spent an extended period of time travelling around the world. She was an avid photographer and was fond of swimming. She liked coastal area rather than inland areas. She was fond of bushwalking but would not go by herself.

Sections of the coast line were searched from St Helens to Bicheno along with a number of side roads which were identified through information as being worthy of searching.

During the course of the investigation, other smaller areas were searched in the Scamander/Beaumaris area as they were deemed necessary.

Searches of all roads were conducted for a distance of 50 metres on either side.


Throughout the course of this investigation, there has been no 'eye witness' account provided by any witness or suspect. Similarly, no exhibits or evidence has been located, so as to implicate any person in the disappearance of Nancy Grunwaldt.

That in part, is due to the six week period which lasted between the 12th of March 1993 (last confirmed sighting) and the 19th of April 1993 (commencement date of the Tasmania Police investigation). This delay negatively impacted upon the investigation, as daily events become "clouded" in the minds of witnesses. Additionally, given that it was summertime, there were high numbers of tourists in the area and witnesses could not be 100% confident as to their 'sightings' of Grunwaldt.

This six week delay, also benefited any offender who may have been spoken to during the course of the investigation.

Suspects were identified throughout the course of this investigation, but given the lack of eye witness accounts or physical evidence their classification as a 'suspect' resulted from one or more of the following:

  • Information received from the public
  • Known or rumoured behaviour;
  • Prior convictions; and/or
  • Inconsistent or inappropriate statements made to police or members of the public.

Nothing of substance was established.


Grunwaldt's parents have visited the State on a number of occasions since her disappearance. During their visits, they have participated in media conferences appealing for information as to the whereabouts of their daughter. On each occasion they have generated a response from the public, however, no 'concrete' evidence has been forthcoming.

The State Government has offered a reward of up to $30,000 to be made payable at the discretion of the Commissioner of Police for information as to the whereabouts of Grunwaldt or the conviction of the person(s) responsible for her disappearance.

Contact was made with the German Consulate in Victoria, Mr Thomas Bittner at the time of the disappearance and he worked closely with the investigators in the supply of information in relation to Grunwaldt.

Summary of Investigation

  • The initial investigation was hampered due to a six week delay in the missing person report being made.
  • Extensive media coverage was generated.
  • To date over 500 information reports have been received and over 280 statements have been taken from members of the public.
  • Interstate enquiries have been conducted as well as various international enquiries through Interpol.
  • Monitoring of Immigration and Bank records revealed no activity.
  • Extensive land, water and air searches were conducted in the area, though the prevailing terrain must be considered.
  • Suspects have been eliminated during the course of the investigation. Although the investigation is still active, no one individual is considered to be the likely offender.
  • Investigators from the Port Arthur Task Force and Task Force Air (NSWPOL Belangalo Backpacker Murders) were also canvassed in relation to this matter.
  • The investigation remains active, with information being received periodically, and interviews being conducted as necessary.

CAFASSO murder investigation

Approximately 1.30 pm on the 11th of October 1995, Victoria Anna Elizabeth Cafasso, dob 8/6/75, an Italian tourist was found deceased on the Beaumaris Beach at Beaumaris. Her partially naked body was found at the waters edge and was being lapped by the waves. There were numerous stab wounds to her body, together with bruising and lacerations. Cafasso was on holiday in Tasmania and was staying with a relative at Beaumaris.

Topography of Beaumaris

Beaumaris is a seaside township on the east cost of Tasmania, lying between Scamander (1.4 km south) and St Helens (6 km north). The town consists of one (1) motel and approximately 150 homes/shacks. It has a permanent population of approximately 350 persons, made up of retirees, families, employed and unemployed persons. The population rises significantly over the summer period.

The Tasman Highway runs north/south through the town and parallel to the beach. It is the main coastal route. The town comprises five (5) separate areas with all but eight (8) houses located on the inland side of the highway. Beaumaris Beach stretches for 4 km, including the 2 km length of the town. The beach lies 75 metres to the east of the highway and is predominantly shielded from view by a coastal reserve strip of low dunes and light scrub. The northern and southern ends of Beaumaris Beach are defined by rocky points which prevent easy access further along the coast. Inland of Beaumaris exists extensive pine plantations, forested areas and a network of gravel roads that stretch to the Midland Highway.

Personal history of the deceased

Victoria Cafasso was a dual Italian/English citizen who spent most of her time residing in Italy but regularly visited her grand parents in England. She lived with her parents and younger sister in Italy. Her mother described her as a trusting person.

Cafasso held a British passport and spoke fluent Italian, English and French. She was well travelled, having travelled several times with her mother as well as having previously acted as a tour guide. Her journey to Australia was the largest journey undertaken by her alone.

Cafasso was well educated and attended University in Italy where she was studying law. She deferred that course in July 1995. She then travelled to England to stay with her grandmother - as was her practice most mid-year holidays - to consider her options. She enrolled in a language course at Portsmouth University, due to start in August 1996. She expressed a desire to travel to Australia and stay with her cousin Simon Howard De Salis whom she had met on two (2) previous occasions. She called De Salis from England and made the arrangements.

Cafasso flew from London to Melbourne, via Hong Kong, and from Melbourne flew to Launceston Airport arriving at 1.50 pm on Friday the 6th of October 1995. She was met by Simon De Salis and a visiting friend of his, Peter Holder of Sydney.

Last known movements

From the 6th to the 11th of October 1995, Cafasso resided with De Salis at "Larby's Cottage" Charles Street, Beaumaris. Over that time De Salis took her and Holder to tourist spots on the east coast. The only social event she attended was a small private birthday party for Mandy-Louise Larby on Monday the 9th. The only times she was alone, were for two (2) short walks; on Monday the 9th and Tuesday the 10th.

On the morning of Wednesday the 11th of October 1995, Cafasso rose about 8.10 am and after breakfast told De Salis she was going for a walk on the beach and requested to borrow a small carry bag. About 9 am she set off on foot for the short walk to the beach. She was dressed in a blue T-shirt with a wolf motif on its front, a pair of slacks/pants, a bikini, white sandshoes, watch, bangle, ring and necklace. She carried the borrowed bag, a large beach towel, a flask of water, a Sony walkman radio, sunglasses, sun screen, scarf and her purse - containing personal papers, $A509.00 and some foreign currency.

En-route to the beach Cafasso was sighed by six (6) reliable witnesses. It is believed that she entered Beaumaris Beach via a path opposite the Surfside Hotel. Cafasso was seen sunbaking some 700 metes south of where she had entered the beach. These sightings were about 9.55 am and again about 10.10 am.

The scene

Detectives and Forensic personnel from Launceston subsequently attended, as did the Forensic Pathologist and Forensic Scientists from Forensic Science Services Tasmania (FSST).

An examination of the area established the murder scene some 50 metres north of the body. There was no indication - heavy footprints, drag marks, blood trail etc - that the body had been brought to the beach for disposal. Within that scene was found a portion of Cafasso's property. Several items known to have been taken by her to the beach were not located. She was naked except for a bikini top which was intact above her breasts. Her face and head had been stabbed, lacerated and bludgeoned resulting in horrific and extensive wounds. She had also been stabbed to the back and chest. The frenzied nature of the attack on Cafasso with a knife indicates that the offender is disturbed, with a quite possible hatred for women, or who is in a drug induced state, who loses control during the attack, but once it is over is sufficiently cunning to conceal his tracks. The fact that some of her possessions were missing would indicate that he gains satisfaction from keeping a "trophy" from the murder. In this regard none of Grunwaldt's possessions have ever been found.

Review of the Grunwaldt file with respect to the Cafasso murder

In March 1966, (then) Constable Mathew Obsorne No. 1622 of the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Hobart, conducted a review of the Grunwaldt investigation with regard to the Cafasso murder case up to the 11th of March 1996.

In his conclusions, he reported on the following perceived similarities between the two investigations.

  • That both victims were females, aged in their twenties, and tourists.
  • Both had been in the State only a few days.
  • Both spoke English, although Cafasso spoke more fluently than Grunwaldt.
  • Both stayed on the East Coast prior to their disappearance/murder.
  • Both girls were of above average build.
  • Both girls would have been recognised as 'non-locals'.
  • The distance between the scene of the Cafasso murder and the last sightings of Grunwaldt, is as little as 10 kilometres.
  • Both were last seen in the late morning/early afternoon.
  • Both are described as 'sensible' girls who would not take risks. (This indicates that if there is a connection between the cases the offender does not immediately raise suspicions.)
  • It would appear a possibility that an attempt was made to dispose of Cafasso's body in the sea. It is possible that Grunwaldt's body (if she met with foul play) was disposed of in a similar manner but did not get washed back into shore.
  • Both were last seen alive early in the month (Cafasso on the 11th of October 1995 and Grunwaldt on the12th of March 1993).
  • Both were last seen on a weekday. Cafasso on a Wednesday and Grunwaldt on a Friday. (Possibly indicating that a similar offender is a shift worker, or unemployed, or works odd days and/or hours)
  • There is some evidence that both Cafasso and Grunwaldt enjoyed the beaches of the East Coast. A witness states that he saw Grunwaldt reading a book on the beach at Beaumaris and this is corroborated by another witness. The location they say they saw Grunwaldt, is less than 1 km from where Cafasso was located.

Finally, Constable Osborne stated: "These similarities are reached using some licence to speculate. The fact that Grunwaldt's body has not been located makes investigation and comparison difficult". In my view there is no firm evidence to link the two deaths, however.

1986 Attempted rape of (known female - hereafter "K.F." on Beaumaris Beach.

In addition to the Cafasso murder, one other matter which was 're-visited' during these investigations as the 1986 attempted rape of "K.F." This incident occurred on the Beaumaris Beach on Thursday the 4th of September 1986 and this crime remains unsolved.

Likely scenarios with respect to the death of Grunwaldt

Scenario one

  • That whilst travelling on the road, she was struck by a passing motorist and fell from the road side and out of view.

Comment: Given the extensive searches which were conducted by police, it is highly likely that her body and possessions would have been located.

Scenario two

  • That whilst travelling on the road, she was struck by a passing motorist and that her body and possessions were disposed of.

Comment: This scenario cannot be discounted but appears unlikely.

Scenario three

  • That she met with foul play, the motive being sexual or personal gain (eg, theft of her possessions or access to her bank accounts), and that the body and possessions were disposed of.

Comment: This scenario cannot be discounted although her bank accounts were never unlawfully accessed but the motive may not have been financial gain.

Scenario four

  • Death by misadventure, for example falling down a mine shaft or drowning.

Comment: This scenario is possible, however it would be expected that her bicycle or other possessions would have been located during the extensive police searches which were conducted.

Scenario five

  • Death by misadventure. After which, her bicycle and possessions were found by a passer-by. Given the substantial media coverage which followed, the finder may have been reluctant to come forward and either kept or disposed of her possessions.

Comment: This scenario cannot be discounted but appears unlikely.


Given the circumstances surrounding Nancy Grunwaldt's disappearance and the lack of evidence unveiled throughout this investigation and the fact that none of her possessions have been found my conclusions are:

  • That Nancy Grunwaldt is deceased.
  • That she died whilst in Tasmania.
  • That she died on or about Friday the 12th of March 1993.
  • That she died between St Helens and Bicheno.
  • I believe that 'foul play' is involved in her disappearance in the form of homicide.

I am grateful to Detective Acting Inspector M.G. Wright for his detailed review and analysis which is here in substance largely reproduced as my findings.


I find that Nancy Grunwaldt died on the East Coast of Tasmania between St Helens and Bicheno on the 12th day of March 1993 as the result of foul play by person(s) unknown.

I express my sincere condolences to her parents, family and friends.

This matter is now concluded.

DATED: 19th March 2004 at Launceston in the State of Tasmania.

Peter Henric Wilson