‘Teacher’s Pet’: Police search former home of mom missing for 35 years after podcast puts spotlight on unsolved case

A days-long search that began last week in anticipation of finding clues into the disappearance of a missing Australian woman, who is the subject of a true-crime podcast listened to by millions, has turned up nothing, police say.

Lynette Dawson vanished without a trace at the age of 33 in 1982, leaving behind two young children.

Authorities suspect that the woman was murdered by her husband at the time, Chris Dawson, The Australian reports. No charges have been filed against him at this time.

Coroners’ inquests performed in 2001 and 2003 recommended that the man be charged with his former wife’s murder, according to BBC. The latter inquest alleges that Chris, a former physical education teacher, had sexual affairs with teenage students.

As the podcast “The Teacher’s Pet” documents, a 16-year-old girl moved in with Chris Dawson and his two children within only days of Lynette’s disappearance. The two married but divorced after 12 years of marriage. In a “60 Minutes” segment about Lynette’s mysterious vanishing, her daughter says that her father and his new wife never spoke of her mother.

BBC reports that New South Wales police began a forensic search on September 12 of the Lynette Dawson’s former home in Sydney, situated among multi-million dollar properties in the suburb of Bayview.

Part of the search included using earth-drilling machinery to dig up the area surrounding a swimming pool at the home. The soil was broken up and then sifted through in an effort to find any traces of remains or evidence.

In 2000, a pink cardigan “bearing marks consistent with a stabbing” was discovered buried in the ground next to the pool, according to The Australian.

But this search brought no new answers or evidence, according to a police statement given to the newspaper.

“The operation, conducted as part of ongoing investigations into the suspected murder of Lynette Dawson, commenced last Wednesday and concluded today. Police have not located Lynette’s remains or any items of interest to the investigation.”

Detectives say Chris could still be charged with Lynette’s murder despite not yet locating her body.

“This is all about getting justice for Lyn,” said Superintendent Scott Cook from New South Wales Police, according to the Independent. Before the latest dig, he said officials would pursue charges against Lynette’s former husband regardless of the outcome of the search, according to the media outlet.

The eerie circumstances surrounding the woman’s disappearance have been downloaded by more than 12 million listeners via “The Teacher’s Pet” podcast since May.

This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide updates as information becomes available.


[Feature photo: Lynette Dawson, handout]