The reward for information into the suspicious disappearance of 19-year-old Kingsvale mother-of-one Amber Haigh has been increased from $100,000 to $1 million.
Amber was reported missing on 19 June 2002 after failing to return to her home at Kingsvale near Young in the NSW South West Slopes, where she and her six-month-old son lived with a married couple.
Police were told the married couple had dropped Amber off at Campbelltown Train Station on 5 June 2002, where she intended to travel by train to Mt Druitt to visit her sick father in hospital.
Later that day money was withdrawn from her bank account at a Commonwealth Bank ATM on Queen Street in Campbelltown around 8:45 pm.
Despite extensive investigations by local police over the years – including numerous public appeals and a reward for information – the circumstances of her disappearance remain undetermined.
In 2011 a coronial inquest found Amber to have died by homicide or other misadventure in early June 2002.
In 2020 a formal review of the case was conducted under the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide framework and detectives attached to Strike Force Villamar II commenced a re-investigation.
As inquiries continue police are renewing their appeal to the community – particularly those in the Campbelltown area – to come forward with any information that may assist detectives with their inquiries.
Amber’s mother Rosalind Wright and sister Melissa Millar-Hodder recorded a message thanking the NSW Government and the NSW Police Force for the reward increase and appealing to the public to help give them closure.
In it, Melissa described her sister as a “kind, warm, loving soul”.
“Her son ever got to know or grow up with a caring, loving mum… she would give him the world if she were here,” she said.
Rosalind Wright said she knew in her heart that Amber would never have left her son who was five months old at the time of her disappearance.
“I feel I lost a part of myself [when Amber disappeared] not knowing where she is or what happened to her,” she said.
“I’d like to thank the minister [Paul Toole] for raising the reward.”
Rosalind has appealed to members of the public with information “big or small” relating to her disappearance to come forward so the family can finally “lay our Amber to rest”.
Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said any new leads would be thoroughly examined by detectives who wish to provide her family with answers.
“Amber’s disappearance and suspected death robbed a young boy of a mother’s presence in his life and nobody has ever been held accountable for that,” he said.
“We believe that Amber met with foul play but, to date, we have been unable to find enough evidence to prosecute anyone over her disappearance.
“Police can only expect breakthroughs in these sorts of cases with the help of the public so please, do what is right and come forward.”
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Villamar II investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website.