Krystal Fraser with her mother, Karen Fraser.
The charm of small country towns, residents often say, is that everyone knows each other. But the closeness of a farming community in Victoria’s north may be hiding a killer, police fear.
Krystal Fraser was days from giving birth when she vanished from Pyramid Hill on June 20, 2009. Friday marks five years since she was last seen.
A $100,000 reward for information about her suspected murder was announced in 2012, but there have been no major developments in the case.
Ms Fraser, 23, had an intellectual disability and was preparing to raise her first child without the father.
The identity of the father has never been revealed, though several men have admitted relationships with her.
Detectives have interviewed some of the men and cleared two others who have taken their own lives since the disappearance.
A prime suspect, from a family with property in Leitchville, near the Murray, has maintained his innocence.
Mother Karen Fraser said she had been unable to grieve for her daughter because she had never been found.
She said she would spend Friday like every other day: frustrated that she had no answers.
‘‘I know no more today than I knew five years ago,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s not like a car accident or another death in the family where you get the body. I can’t grieve. I can’t get over it.
‘‘All I can think of is all the possibilities of what happened, and we’ve got nothing. Just questions.’’
A letter has emerged, written by Ms Fraser to her aunt only three days before she disappeared.
It details her preparing to become a mother to a boy she planned to call Ryan, and says she expected to remain at a birthing unit at Bendigo hospital until the baby was born.
She had been taken by ambulance to the hospital because of ‘‘fair dinkum’’ labour pains, and planned to give her grandmother the keys to her Pyramid Hill unit because she did not know when she would return home.
Instead, she was back in Pyramid Hill three days later - the day before her baby was due.
Police have spoken to a friend she met that night, and he is not believed to be a suspect. A man says he spoke to Krystal that night, but she answered a call from a private number soon after. Ms Fraser was last seen when she left a house in Albert Street, Pyramid Hill at 9.40pm. She made a phone call from there on her mobile and had spoken of visiting another house but, according to police, she went home.
Just before midnight someone called her mobile, and spoke to her. The call was made from a public telephone outside a post office in Leitchville, 32 kilometres away.
Her phone was tracked travelling towards Leitchville about 3am, but police do not know if she was alive at this time, as she had no means of transportation. The phone has never been found.
Mrs Fraser said those who were not speaking up had no conscience. ‘‘She deserves better. Tell the truth,’’ she pleaded.
Anybody with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au.