Wednesday, August 18, 1971

Tamara Milograd

Personal Details
Last seen: September 18, 1971
Employment: Student
Age:16
Year of birth:
Height:
Build:
Eyes:
Hair: Fair
Complexion: Fair
Gender: Female
Distinguishing Feature:
Circumstances:The bustling grounds of the Royal Melbourne Show were a thrill for teenager Tamara Milograd and one of her school friends.

It was September 18, 1971 and the pair decided to split up briefly so she could get change from the $5 note tucked in her pocket.

The 16-year-old was never seen again.

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40-year search for girl will never end
Steve Lillebuen Sydney Morning Herald August 2, 2010

The bustling grounds of the Royal Melbourne Show were a thrill for teenager Tamara Milograd and one of her school friends.

It was September 18, 1971 and the pair decided to split up briefly so she could get change from the $5 note tucked in her pocket.

The 16-year-old was never seen again.

Her frantic family has searched for nearly 40 years and even hired a private investigator in their efforts but the trail has run cold.

"It's been ups and downs with sightings and optimism and there's been despair," her brother Eugene Milograd said on Monday.

Their father died in 1989 pleading with his family to continue the search and never lose hope, a mission that still haunts the missing girl's mother, Luba.

"Every day is a nightmare for her," Mr Milograd says of their 85-year-old mum.

"It's always at the foremost on her mind and we just feel a bit helpless."

Missing persons detectives are hoping Ms Milograd may still be alive but is living under a different identity.

She's now featured as a cold case for Missing Persons Week 2010, launched in Melbourne, in the hope that she will contact police and let them know she is OK.

The largest demographic of the 35,000 reported missing persons every year are teenage girls and police are encouraging everyone to report disappearances quickly.

"With quick, prompt reporting we can actually locate many of those people," said Chris McDevitt, AFP commander of the national missing persons unit.

"Don't waste time. Don't believe the myth that you have to wait 24 hours. It's not true. Report as soon as you can."

In Ms Milograd's case, her family did file a police report soon after she disappeared in the crowd but she still hasn't been located.

Police believe, however, that she probably vanished willingly.

She had been fighting with her family over a boyfriend and had told a few friends that she wanted to start a new life.

Sergeant David Butler says it is believed MsMilograd spent a few nights in the showgrounds' stables before moving on to St Kilda and possibly interstate.

Her disappearance is one of 500 active, longterm cases being investigated by the Victoria Police Belier Taskforce, many sifting through a paper trail of births, deaths and marriages listings compiled well before electronic records were kept.

Detectives have discovered it was quite simple for a young woman to disappear back then.

"Right up to 80s it was pretty easy for women to move interstate, marry and get themselves a new life," Sgt Butler told AAP. "At that point they are virtually lost forever."

The latest leads in Ms Milograd's case ran cold in 1984 with possible sightings in Melbourne and in NSW.

Her brother says they've accepted that she could have taken off but the family wants closure with one phone call from her that she is alive and well.

"I had a sister that I haven't got anymore and reality is, I just miss her," he says.

© 2011 AAP

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