In 1992, a happy 12-year-old girl in Australia was enjoying a day off from school and spent the afternoon going holiday shopping. But then, she mysteriously vanished before her mother arrived home from work, and she tragically hasn’t been seen since.
Rhianna Barreau was 12-years-old and living with her mom and brother in Morphett Vale, a suburb in Adelaide, South Australia, the year she went missing. She was a great and well-rounded student at Reynella South Primary School.
On October 7th, 1992, Rhianna had a day off from school due to a school holiday. Her brother was out of town, and Rhianna had a reportedly pleasant morning with her mom, Paula, before she had to leave for work.
Paula remembers Rhianna dancing to the song “Love Shack” by the B-52s that morning, just before she left for work around 8:30 am, expecting to see her again when she returned home around 4:00 pm.
Just before noon, Rhianna walked about a half-mile over to the Reynella Shopping Centre to buy a Christmas card for her American pen pal. Then, around 12:30 pm, she was allegedly seen walking near Morphett Vale High School. That was the last time anyone would see her.
When Paula arrived home from work around 4:00 pm, the front door was locked, the television was on, and the card that Rhianna had purchased was on the kitchen table. However, there was no sign of Rhianna.
Paula began calling around and asking Rhianna’s friends if she was with them, assuming Rhianna had gone to visit some friends and lost track of time. However, when no one had seen her, and she hadn’t heard from her daughter by 6:00 pm, Paula called the police to report Rhianna missing.
When authorities searched Paula’s home, there were no signs of struggle, and the only items missing from the house were Rhianna’s set of keys and a golden locket, which they assumed Rhianna was wearing the day she went missing.
Searches around the area were conducted, including around the bushland and landfills. Because the card Rhianna had purchased for her pen pal was in the house, police believe she made it home from her errands before she disappeared and was potentially forced or enticed out of her home.