She Went Out To Buy A Card For Her Pen Pal In 1992, But While The Card Made It Home To Her Kitchen Table, She Vanished Without A Trace

South Australia Police - pictured above is Rhianna

Rhianna Barreau, a 12-year-old girl from Southern Australia, vanished without a trace on October 7, 1992, and her mysterious disappearance continues to puzzle investigators and community members over three decades later.

She grew up in Morphette Vale, a suburb of Adelaide, and that week in October, Rhianna had a school break. So, on the morning of October 7, she was home alone and planned to visit the Colonnades Shopping Centre to buy a Christmas card and mail it to her American pen pal.

Normally, Rhianna would have taken the bus there. However, due to a snap strike, she didn’t have any means of transportation – which forced her to change her plans.

She proceeded to walk to a local newsagent located in Reynella, about one mile away from her home, instead. There, she purchased the Christmas card, walked back to her residence at 47 Wakefield Avenue, and was never seen or heard from again.

When Rhianna’s mother arrived home shortly after 4:00 p.m., there was nobody there. But the television had been left on, records were sitting on the floor, and Rhianna’s Christmas card was inside a shopping bag on the kitchen table.

So, 12:30 p.m. on October 7, 1992, marked the last confirmed sighting of the 12-year-old. Then, two days after her disappearance, homicide detective Allen Arthur took the lead on the investigation of her case.

“From the time I went through the preliminary statements gathered by the two detectives from Major Crime and read all the additional information that was being gathered, I knew something was wrong. I knew she was in trouble,” he recalled.

“At the time, we established that she’d been seen at the shopping center… that she was seen walking through the Morphett Vale school, and we can only assume that she was on her way home with the cards from the shop. After that, there is very, very little.”

Following her disappearance, Rhianna’s parents issued multiple pleas to the public, asking for their help.

South Australia Police – pictured above is Rhianna

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