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Vanishing Cousins: Missing cousins’ families provide DNA in case there is ever a breakthrough

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Ben HarveyThe West Australian
VideoIn this gripping final episode, two bombshell revelations finally confirm the ‘real’ reason Raelene and Yvonne attended the White Sands Hotel that fateful afternoon.

Family members of two teenage cousins who disappeared 50 years ago have submitted DNA so police can identify any bodies that are found.

Raelene Eaton, 16, and Yvonne Waters, 17, went missing from Scarborough’s White Sands hotel in 1974.

The girls had been enjoying a Sunday session at the popular pub when they vanished.

Their bodies have never been found and no arrests have been made.

The murder mystery is the subject of The West Australian’s five-part docuseries Vanishing Cousins: Evil by the Beach.

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The first episode of the true-crime series is now free to view on thewest.com.au.

The West can reveal that Yvonne’s sister Jill Broom has had a sample of her DNA sent to WA Police. Raelene’s mother Jean Eaton did the same before she died five years ago.

“The first time we gave DNA to the police was back when Dad was alive, and he’s been gone for 21 years,” Ms Broom said.

“Mum, Dad and I all went in and gave DNA to police. I can’t remember what year it was.”

Ms Broom said an Aunt and uncle also submitted samples.

“When I gave DNA again last year the police said the technology involved with reading it has progressed, so it was good that I had given DNA again,” Ms Broom said.

“And we’re hopeful that, should their bones ever be found, that we can say definitively it’s them and put them to rest.”

Mrs Eaton died in 2018, aged 95.

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“Before she (Mrs Eaton) passed away she gave her DNA to the police in the hope that if ever they come across Raelene’s remains, they’ll be able to identify her,” Ms Broom said.

“There were no siblings. So she did that and she organised a place for Raelene to go should they find her.”

Det-Sen. Const. Peter Shanahan, who led a cold case review of the disappearance, said the genetic material was critical to have.

“Obviously we don’t have the direct DNA from Raelene or Yvonne but we do have DNA from the family,” he said.

“We can analyse what’s called familial DNA and establish if we were to find remains or bones at some time in the future.

“If those bones are Raelene’s or Yvonne’s we can definitely prove that it’s them via the analysis with their families’ DNA.”

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