On the 6th of December 2001, Janine Vaughan (31) and two friends (Jordan and Wanita) went out drinking at the Ox Hotel in Bathurst, New South Wales. In the early hours of the 7th, the trio went to the Tavern Nightclub and left before 4 am. At 03:52 am whilst walking home along Keppel Street, Janine was about 40 meters ahead of her friends when a red car pulled up. CCTV showed that the car drove past and did a U-turn to pull up alongside her. The two spoke for 16 seconds and she got inside. The car left and Janine was never seen again.
Subsequent investigations and an inquest found that Janine was dead, but her body has never been found. Detective Superintended Scott Cook said: "We know about 10 minutes before Janine was seen getting into the car, another woman was approached about 750m away by a man in what we believe is the same vehicle." At 3.30am - 20 minutes before Ms. Vaughan went missing - Lynette Boreland (41) was approached by a man who allegedly tried to lure her into his vehicle. Ms. Boreland ran to a nearby service station and reported the incident to the police.
At 3.40 am, Janine was seen on CCTV kissing a man. He then got into a taxi and was heard saying "promise?". Janine's friends and family say she would not have gotten in a car with a stranger. In September 2009, Vaughan’s former partner, Phillip Evans (whom she had been in a relationship with for five years until 2000), told the court that she had been stalked by someone who left notes, flowers, and lingerie on her car while she worked. According to The Herald, one of the notes said: “Don’t be scared of me. I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to get to know you. I will be in touch.”
In 2008, a vehicle of interest was seized by detectives and forensically examined, which has provided investigators with some further lines of inquiry. “New technology will allow us to re-examine some weak DNA samples recovered during the initial examination which we hope will be matched to Janine,” Det Supt Cook said.