Nearly 15 years after her daughter died in suspicious circumstances at Bonny Hills, Karen Bryant is appealing to the public to come forward with any information.
Harmony Bryant, 26, was found with extensive burns and broken bones near her burnt-out car in bushland at Bonny Hills near Sharkies Beach, south of Port Macquarie, on August 16, 2003. She died in hospital a month later.
Eight years on, in 2011, a Coroner found it was likely the young woman met with ‘foul play’ at the hand or hands of a person or persons unknown.
Hundreds of unsolved murders across the state have been re-opened with the Unsolved Homicide Unit introducing new strategies to increase their capability to revisit and re-investigate more than 40 years of ‘cold cases’.
While NSW Police is not naming which cases have been reopened, the Bryant family hopes Harmony’s case will be re-investigated.
“I think that would be a positive step in the right direction,” Karen said.
“However I believe the public can help solve the investigation by providing information.”
Karen urges anyone to come forward with information, regardless of how small they think it might be. She believes someone in the community knows what happened.
“Someone has to have a conscience,” Karen said.
Karen’s husband, and Harmony’s father, Lyle passed away just eight months after his daughter.
“He was determined to find out what happened to her,” Karen said.
Karen hopes the Bryant family will one day have closure.
“Harmony is gone and I know getting answers won’t bring her back,” she said.
“However it might give us some peace of mind.”
In 2011 Deputy State Coroner Mal McPherson recommended Harmony’s case be referred to the Homicide Squad as a cold case.
The inquest heard Ms Bryant's car was found smouldering in dense scrubland, but it appeared to have been driven off the road under some control, even managing to avoid a tree. Her handbag, car keys, cigarettes and blood traces were found 600 metres away.
Mr MacPherson agreed with medical evidence that Ms Bryant's serious arm and pelvic injuries occurred in the area of rocks where her blood was found, hours before the vehicle caught fire.
Her injuries were so bad she could not have walked unaided back to her car.
The state government offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for Harmony’s death.
Mr MacPherson recommended consideration be given to increasing the reward to $250,000. He directed the case be referred to cold cases at the State Crime Command, Homicide Squad.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: nsw.crimestoppers.com.au