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SA cold case arrest brings relief

The sister of missing South Australian Dale McCauley has urged the man charged with his murder to reveal where his remains are buried.


Major crime detectives on Tuesday charged a 65-year-old man from the Adelaide suburb of Seaton with Mr McCauley’s 1998 murder.

Police will oppose bail when he faces court for the first time on Wednesday.

The charge followed a comprehensive cold-case review and a public appeal for information.

Mr McCauley’s older sister and sole surviving relative, Sandra Cole-Stokes, said the arrest had come as a shock after his disappearance was declared a major crime 18 years ago.

“It was a relief,” she told reporters on Wednesday. “I just thought it’s finally, hopefully, coming to an end now. I want to bring him back home.”

Mr McCauley’s truck, passport and Akubra hat – which his friends said he would never leave home without – were found at his home after he went missing.

Ms Cole-Stokes said her now-deceased parents had been robbed of the opportunity to learn what had happened to their son.

The pair had limited contact during their adult lives but Ms Cole-Stokes said she had suspected her brother had been murdered.

“I thought it was strange that his bank accounts hadn’t been used (and) his passport was still at home,” she said.

Before disappearing, the 44-year-old had returned from Yuendumu, a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal settlement, where he ran an art centre. An acquaintance from the settlement was staying with him when he went missing.

Major Crimes detective superintendent Des Bray said the charged man was known to Mr McCauley and no further arrests were expected.

Police have again urged anyone with information to come forward.

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