Editorial: Cold cases play on our minds

The hunt for clues about what happened to Napier woman Annabell Tumanako when she vanished almost six years ago raises questions in the minds of most of us as to what goes through the minds of those who do know what happened.

Now, it is hoped, we will find out as a result of cold-case revival soon to be played out as a segment of Police Ten 7, sadly, not the only cold case within the province of Hawke's Bay over the years.

The ultimate purpose of this modern-day treatment, which wasn't available in the days of the Wairoa killings of sisters Annie and Rosamond Smyth in 1942, or Herbert Brunton six years later, also in Wairoa, is to provide some closure for families.

This is to be by whatever lawful method it takes, but including, if at all possible, the bringing to justice of anyone who may have been culpable.

The right in most of us says that the family of Annabell Tumanako, especially her children, deserve to know what happened.

The focus now goes on to those who may have been responsible, to whatever degree, or should it be the case, anyone else who has been wilfully detaining the crucial facts for all these years, probably on the behalf of the guilty.

The plight of the victim family is well known to Taradale couple Simon and Kathy Cowan, who last month marked the 12th anniversary of son Phil's disappearance.

"You've tried everything, you know the police have tried everything," he says when asked to describe the emotions of simply not knowing what happened.

"When you think about it you feel numb."

The question might well be asked of those who do know. How do you feel?

- Hawkes Bay Today

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