Police search three Sydney properties over Revelle Balmain disappearance

Police began searching three Sydney properties on Tuesday as part of investigations into the disappearance of Revelle Balmain 27 years ago,and have identified a man in a photograph released publicly earlier this year.

Officers say they are now exploring a “new line of inquiry” into the former model’s presumed death.

A 1999 inquest found Revelle Balmain was killed by an unknown person or persons.

A 1999 inquest found Revelle Balmain was killed by an unknown person or persons.NSW Police Media

Lead investigator,Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell,said the warrants issued by the coroner were for “premises of significance” to the case,and specialist officers were “looking for DNA,blood and other exhibits that could have been missed”.

“New technology is way[more] advanced than it was 27 years ago,so we’re hopeful that something can be located and progress the investigation,” he said on Tuesday.

Ms Balmain,then aged 22,was last seen in the Kingsford area in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on November 5,1994,and is believed to have been killed.

Her personal property – including a make-up bag,keys and a shoe – was found scattered near Ainslie Street.

Forensic searches began on Tuesday at properties in Bellevue Hill,Bondi Beach and Potts Point.

Forensic searches began on Tuesday at properties in Bellevue Hill,Bondi Beach and Potts Point.NSW Police

Ms Balmain was reported missing later that evening and has not been seen or heard from since. No one has been charged over her disappearance.

It was later revealed that Ms Balmain had been working as a sex worker at two high-end Sydney escort agencies,and she had gone to a Kingsford house,on McNair Avenue,to visit a client.

A coronial inquest in 1999 found she had died at the hands of a person or persons unknown,and the matter was referred to the unsolved homicide unit for future investigation.

Revelle Balmain was last seen in November 1994.

Revelle Balmain was last seen in November 1994.NSW Police Media

Last year,a formal review of the case was assigned to a senior detective for reinvestigation.

As part of the investigation,police began forensic searches under a coronial order at properties at Bellevue Hill,Bondi Beach and Potts Point from 9am on Tuesday.

Chief Inspector Bell said officers were exploring a “number of new lines of inquiry” into Ms Balmain’s disappearance.

“This includes whether Revelle was scheduled to meet with any individuals – clients,friends or associates – previously unknown to police,on the evening of her disappearance,” he said.

“The new line of inquiry is we’re looking at a person that was previously unknown to Revelle,[who] may have met her on the night of her disappearance.”

Crime scene officers were looking for DNA,blood or any other exhibits to assist the investigation.

Crime scene officers were looking for DNA,blood or any other exhibits to assist the investigation.NSW Police

In May,the NSW government announced a million-dollar reward for any information that might assist investigators.

Following the reward announcement,a photograph of aman was sent to investigators anonymouslyand released by police to the public in July.

“A picture was published in the paper and as a result of that,we are following up new leads,” Chief Inspector Bell said.

Asked on Tuesday whether they had since identified the man pictured,he said:“Yes,we have.”

“We’re trying to identify his location ... on the night of the 5th November,1994,” he said,adding that the location of any potential associates was also being considered.

Police investigating the disappearance of Revelle Balmain say they have identified the man in this photograph,issued earlier this year.

Police investigating the disappearance of Revelle Balmain say they have identified the man in this photograph,issued earlier this year.Supplied

Chief Inspector Bell would not be drawn on any further details about the man,but he has previously said police believed the man might have information that would help progress the investigation.

He said police continued to seek answers for Ms Balmain’s family.

“Revelle’s parents recently died. She has a living sister and we are constantly in contact with her,” he said.

“She’s going quite well,she just wants to see closure as well. She’s disappointed that her parents never got to see what happened to Revelle.

“We are going to continue with this investigation until we can get the answers that we require.”

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Daniella White is a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sarah McPhee is a breaking news reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

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