MORE than 100 men from across the state will be asked to provide DNA samples as investigations into the 20-year-old murder of nanny, Penny Hill, continue.
Penny Hill, 21, died in hospital two weeks after being found with head injuries near Coolah in 1991, only days after she took up a new job with former Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs drummer, Colin Baigent, and his ex-wife Barbara.
She was discovered lying unconscious on the side of the road on July 8, 1991, near the Black Stump motel the Baigents ran, and died in hospital two weeks later.
At inquest hearings held during July, Barbara Baigent admitted her then husband had a “shocking” temper but rejected a suggestion he could have been “provoked” into hurting their former nanny.
At the conclusion of the evidence handed to the court at that hearing, the coroner referred the matter back to homicide
Police investigating the 21-year-old’s murder will visit Coolah, Dubbo, Orange, Lithgow and Sydney to collect samples from people who have previously been interviewed or provided statements.
The Western Region Unsolved Homicide Team’s Detective Sergeant Jason Darcy said the testing would further help to eliminate suspects and evidence that may be irrelevant.
“We have some DNA profiles that have been collected in this investigation and at this stage we’re still working out whether they’re actually connected to the case or have no relevance to the case whatsoever, so that’s why we’re asking locals at Coolah that have been spoken to, to come forward,” he said.
Detective Sergeant Darcy said a coroner referred the nanny’s death back to police after an inquest in July.
“A number of exhibits have been sent down to Victoria to be re-examined. There’s new forensic analysis that’s available and we’re going to put them through this course of analysis and hopefully it will assist the case,” he said.
After a new examination of Ms Hills room the team found DNA on a condom which was found in a “hidey” hole.
The wrapper on the condom suggest it is from around the time of the young woman’s murder.
Detective Sergeant Darcy said every person being asked to give a sample had previously been questioned by police in connection with the murder.
“It’s a basic process of elimination,” he said.
“The DNA material we got ... we don’t know where it fits into the investigation.”
Police will test the new DNA samples against evidence collected from the scene at the time of the murder, and additional evidence taken from the Black Stump Motel earlier this year.
Detective Sergeant Darcy said each of 100 people contacted about the samples were happy to co-operate with police.
“Everyone we speak to are like us; they basically want to see an outcome for the family,” he said.
“The case hasn’t stopped. It’s been basically picking up speed,” he said.
“Once we identify where (the DNA) fits in the investigation it will make it a lot clearer.’’