Sons make tearful plea for information about missing mum Tammy Dyson

The desperate sons of a woman who vanished nearly three decades ago have made an emotional plea for answers about their mum.

Tammy Lisa Dyson, from the Gold Coast, disappeared without a trace in 1995, with police now offering a $500,000 reward for information about her presumed murder.

The mother-of-two was just 23 years old when she was last seen checking out of a Gold Coast drug rehabilitation clinic on July 20 of that year.

Police offer $500k reward for missing mum

State coroner Michael Barnes announced back in 2012 that she was likely murdered, but ruled that the date, time and cause of her death were still unknown.

There is now a half million dollar reward for any information that cracks the decades-old cold case, including immunity from any prosecution for any accomplice who comes forward.

Ms Dyson’s eldest son Jyles Lebler choked back tears at a press conference on Wednesday morning, as he described what life had been like growing up without his beloved mum.

“We were only little boys when our mum disappeared and we have wondered what happened to her all our lives,” the 31-year-old said.

“She won’t be at our weddings and she will never get to meet her grandchildren. Someone obviously knows something.”

Ms Dyson’s youngest son Rainey Lebler was only one year old when she was last seen alive.

“We know that someone knows what happened to mum,” he pleaded.

“We are appealing for anyone who knows what happened to please come forward and help our family.”

He said his elderly grandmother had never given up trying to find out what happened to her daughter and desperately wanted closure.

“It hurts every bloody day,” he added.

“She wouldn’t just disappear and leave us behind.”

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Last movements

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell of the Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team said despite extensive investigations at the time and since, the mum’s whereabouts remained unknown.

“Tammy associated with criminals that were known to police and vanished without a trace after giving custody of her children and possessions to her mother,” Detective Kentwell said.

“We believe the circumstances of her disappearance are suspicious.

“Any person who was involved in the crime, but did not commit the crime, who comes forward and speaks with police, is eligible for this indemnity from prosecution.”

Ms Dyson was discharged from a drug rehabilitation facility on July 20, 1995, into the care of a woman whose identity has not been established.

The woman claimed she was her sister; however, Ms Dyson’s only sister was not the woman who collected her.

On July 21, 1995, Ms Dyson completed a Statutory Declaration signed by a Justice of the Peace in Tweed Heads, giving custody of her children and her possessions to her mother.

“We are urging the person who collected Tammy from the Currumbin Clinic on the July 20, 1995, to contact police,” Detective Kentwell added.

“Anyone who knew Tammy or her movements in Brisbane and the Gold Coast around the time of her disappearance is also encouraged to come forward with any information, no matter how small.

“There are people out there with information. Tammy’s family and her two boys deserve answers, so if you know something, please come forward.”

Ms Dyson reportedly changed her name to Tamela Lisa Menzies in the months before her disappearance.

Downward spiral

Ms Dyson was described as having been an outgoing, happy-go-lucky young girl who loved music, tarot cards and astrology, and who dreamt of one day becoming an actor.

However, things began to spiral after she moved to Brisbane from Victoria with her sister Olivia back in 1988 when she was just 17.

The pair worked in the adult entertainment industry in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, in strip clubs including Hot Lips and the Red Garter, getting caught up in the seedy underworld of Fortitude Valley.

A year later, she lived between New South Wales and Victoria with her then partner, Natalis, where they had their two sons, Jyles in 1991 and Rainey in 1994.

She continued to work in adult entertainment clubs and was known to use the stage name “Pebbles”.

Police stated that she associated with people involved with drugs and other criminal related activities in Brisbane, who were known to law enforcement at the time.

Final phone call

In early 1995, she was living in Victoria and then in Inala, outside of Brisbane, with her new partner Ricky Devisser.

Ms Dyson had arranged for her two sons to stay with her mother, Loretta, in Victoria.

Loretta informed police that she believed this to be a temporary arrangement and that her daughter would eventually come back to collect her sons.

A few months later, Ms Dyson called her sister in what was described as a “distressed” state.

After driving to pick her up, Olivia said she believed her sister had been assaulted.

Olivia and her partner, Dominic, later dropped Ms Dyson at the Currumbin Clinic on the Gold Coast, which was a drug rehabilitation centre.

Investigations prove that she was a patient of the clinic, arriving on July 16, 1995.

She was discharged on July 20, 1995 and the next day signed a Statutory Declaration giving custody of her children and her possessions to her mother.

On July 22, 1995, she called her sister Olivia, but did not sound like her usual self and was reportedly talking about people from the underworld.

She has not been seen or heard from since.

Unanswered questions

The mysterious woman who collected Ms Dyson from rehab is now at the focal point of the investigation.

Detectives are also keen to speak to anyone on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane who could shed light on her movements around the time of her disappearance.

“I believe that Tammy’s lifestyle at the time has resulted in us being here today,” Detective Kentwell said.

“Relationships and loyalties do change – people who are scared may no longer be.

“We do believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passing of time, this crime can be solved, offenders can be brought to justice and we can provide some answers to Tammy’s family and friends.”

Ms Dyson’s son Jyles added that any information could help give their family the closure they deserve.

“Whoever has picked her up, I’m not saying they have done something but they must know something bad has happened,” he said.

“Even if you think your information doesn’t matter, it could be the piece of the puzzle that helps us find out what actually happened.

“Please come forward and help our family.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online here.

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