RELATED:Charges laid after 40 years
IT was the phone call the Richardson family had been waiting for since October 1973.
An officer from the NSW Unsolved Homicide Team called Noelle Richardson on Wednesday to tell her a man had been arrested over her daughter’s death.
For more than 40 years there had been pleas for information, leads, arrests, charges and inquiries over the murder, but no conviction.
Fiona Richardson was only four when her sister was murdered, and her first memories are of the pain it caused the family.
She is hopeful the charges laid will be proven in court and bring an end to the saga.
“We look forward to this man meeting the strength of the law,” she said.
The family was forced to leave Corowa shortly after Bronwynne’s death.
Fiona, now 45, remembers the rumours circulating about her elder sister and being picked on at school.
“It had everything to do with us leaving the area,” she said.
“I think we left about 18 months after (her death).
“My father had to pass the cemetery twice a day, every day, on his bus run.
“And I think small towns weren’t as supportive as they are now.
“Kids repeat what they hear their parents say.
“I was being excluded from friendship groups until I told people what happened.
“Things like that were too much.”
Her sister Janet, now 59, was shocked to hear the news of the arrest.
The Unsolved Homicide Team had not given any warning to the family prior to the arrest.
“It’s a bit of disbelief and a bit of relief,” she said.
“The longer it went on, we didn’t think this day would come.
“But there’s still a long way to go.
“My parents are coping, they’re in shock.”
Janet said while it felt like a weight had been lifted, the family was still awaiting closure.
“It’s had a huge impact on everybody, from the time it happened, right through to now,” she said.
Noelle Richardson was too distraught to talk to the media yesterday, but detailed her anguish in 2009 in an interview with The Border Mail.
“It is a strain that you cannot put a severe enough name to it,” she said.
“We lived half a normal life until our beautiful and loving girl was taken.”
Bronwynne’s cousin Les Dale said he had seen the impact the death had had on the family.
“I’m certainly pleased to find out after all these years that there is some result,” he said.