Pauline Sowry disappearance: ‘Pristine’ vintage car breakthrough in Wollongong missing mum cold case

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
Pauline Sowry was last seen by her family in Wollongong, south of Sydney, in December 1993.
Pauline Sowry was last seen by her family in Wollongong, south of Sydney, in December 1993. Credit: AAP

After launching a $500,000 reward for information to solve the decades-old mystery of Pauline Sowry’s disappearance, NSW Police have released an image of a vehicle believed to be connected to the case.

The appeal for information comes as authorities continue to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the Wollongong woman’s vanishing 30 years ago.

Ms Sowry, also known by her married name Pauline Lawrence, was last seen by her family in Wollongong’s northern suburbs in December 1993. She was 49 years old at the time.

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Despite extensive investigations over the years, her fate remains unknown. A 2008 Coronial inquest concluded that Ms Sowry had likely died after an unconfirmed sighting in 1994.

To further the investigation, strike force Anthea was established in 2022 to re-examine the circumstances of Ms Sowry’s disappearance.

Following this appeal, police received information suggesting that Ms Sowry was seen south of Wollongong in a vehicle resembling the one in the released image.

The vehicle is described as a white 1968-model Holden HK Kingswood sedan, noted for being in ‘pristine’ condition at the time.

NSW Police have released an image of a vehicle believed to be connected to the disappearance of Pauline Sowry.
NSW Police have released an image of a vehicle believed to be connected to the disappearance of Pauline Sowry. Credit: Supplied

In March this year, the NSW Government and NSW Police announced a $500,000 reward for information that could lead to a breakthrough in the case.

When announcing the reward, Jason Lawrence, Ms Sowry’s son tearfully said: “My mother was a kind, caring and a loving mother,” he said at a press conference in Wollongong this morning.”

“I believe someone has taken advantage of her kindness and vulnerability, so my family and I plead with the public to come forward with any information or knowledge of her disappearance,” Mr Lawrence said.

“It upsets me knowing she has missed the celebrations and being the grandparent of five grandchildren who would love to have met her in so many special moments.”

Police Minister Yasmin Catley said she hoped the reward prompted members of the public to come forward with more information that would offer answers for Ms Sowry’s family.

“If you know something, there are now 500,000 more reasons to contact police,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Darren Brand was hopeful of a breakthrough in the investigation.

“We believe there are people in the community who know exactly what happened to Pauline,” he said.

“Maybe their personal circumstances have changed and they’re now in a position to come forward and provide that crucial piece of information we need to find Pauline.”

NSW Police urge anyone who recognizes the vehicle or knows someone who owned a similar vehicle during the period of Ms Sowry’s disappearance to come forward to Wollongong Police or Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

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