One Fateful Day
Summer is supposed to be a time when kids get to be kids, go on adventures and play with their closest friends. But for two teens, the summer of 1989 would prove to be their last when they vanished without a trace. Considered to be one of the strangest unsolved mysteries in Australia…you won’t believe what happened that summer.
Two Ordinary Best Friends
Jaymie Egner and Matthew Kelly were two normal high school boys living in the village of Pheasant’s Nest, Australia. Living 50-miles southwest of Sydney, they attended high school in Picton and spent most of their free time exploring the wilds and swimming in the local swimming hole.
A Day at the Swimming Hole
It was December 18, 1989, when the boys enjoyed lunch at Jaymie’s house before heading out to the Potholes, which was a local swimming hole in the area. The boys planned to meet up with another friend from school and set out for a fun day in the sun.
Unfortunately, this would be the last time Jaymie’s mother ever saw him.
Vanished without a Trace
As the day turned to night, Jaymie and Matthew never returned from swimming. The very next day, police were out searching for the missing boys and when they failed to find anything the search was upgraded to a full-blown investigation.
Taking flight, the New South Wales Police Force along with local firefighters began to search the area for clues to their disappearance.
Desperate for Answers
For two weeks, the boys’ families waited desperately for some answers, but no evidence was found. The boys had simply vanished. However, Jaymie’s father refused to give up hope. Every night he would go out searching the area for his son…unfortunately it was all in vain.
The Pheasant’s Nest Bridge
It would be weeks later when an officer with the Roads and Traffic authority would be visiting the Pheasant’s Nest Bridge, which was located a mile away from Jaymie’s home. Over 250 feet tall and spanning the entirety of the Napean River, it’s an iconic structure in the area.
It was there, the officer noticed something very strange.
The Strange Smell
While patrolling the bridge, the worker noticed a very strange smell coming from one of the pylons. Upon closer inspection, he made a horrifying discovery! Inside the pylon was a deep, open shaft and at the bottom…he could make out two bodies.
Could it be the missing boys?
Due to the shaft being 130-feet deep, it took rescue workers all night to haul the two corpses to the surface. It would take several weeks to formally identify the bodies due to the advanced state of composition, but it was eventually confirmed that the bodies were indeed Jaymie and Matthew.
A Shocking Revelation
In complete shock, Jaymie’s father only had this to say to the local media. “We didn’t expect to hear this. Jaymie’s brothers don’t understand it yet. Jaymie’s grandfather is in hospital, and he is very upset now.”
Piecing the Evidence Together
The grief that overcame both Jaymie and Matthew’s families was strong, but they still needed to discover what had happened to the boys. Evidence revealed that one of the hatches that cover the shaft was missing.
Could the boys have been exploring and accidentally fallen down the pylon shaft?
A Possible Scenario
One of the boys’ friends, Philip Hendricks explained to the local news that the bridge was a familiar site to the kids in the area and many had spent time exploring its surroundings. Investigators also found an opening where Jaymie and Matthew could have gained access to the interior of the bridge.
Makeshift Torch Discovered
Investigators began to play out various scenarios and thought the boys could have set out explore the walkway inside the bridge. Evidence of a makeshift torch had been found at the scene, which could have been used to light the teens’ way to the main electrical switch.
However, the question that remained was how two teens could have BOTH fallen down a three-foot shaft with the lights on?
Things Don’t Add Up
There were other pieces of evidence that brought more questions than answers as well. Jaymie’s shirt had been found folded at the entrance to the bridge, and a plastic conduit had fallen on top of the boys’ corpses inside the shaft.
Is it possible the boys weren’t alone that day?
Not An Accident?
This theory was further supported by strange, fingernail scratch marks that were discovered at the scene. Could it be possible this wasn’t an accident after all? While this idea floated around, the homicide detective disagreed.
However, the worker on the scene believed something was amiss.
A Third Person Involved?
Seeing as he was the one who had found the bodies, he questioned whether or not a third person had been with them. Furthermore, what had happened to the hatch covering the shaft? According to the worker, it took four men to move it and it had yet to be found.
Police Begin to Doubt
The police detectives also questioned the official version of events that were on record. “I just can’t understand how they fell down together,” said Picton sergeant Jim Reynolds. “I can’t say it’s not foul play. On the surface, there are a lot of inconsistencies in this case.”
The local residents were puzzled by all the conflicting evidence and lack of resolution. Soon they began to wonder if something horrible had happened to the boys. Could they have stumbled upon a local drug deal gone bad? Did someone want to silence them?
Not the Only Ones…
Even more peculiar is that Jaymie and Matthew weren’t the only teens to die in that area due to strange circumstances. Only two years prior, Erin Murphy and Glenn Vantaggiato had been killed in a hit and run near Pheasant’s Nest Bridge.
You won’t believe the strange facts surrounding their deaths.
While police determined it was a traffic accident, the fact both boys were found suspiciously lying down in the middle of the road made people wonder if it had been foul play. Overall, the area had seen its fair share of strange “accidents” throughout the years.
A Bridge with a History
With the Pheasant’s Nest Bridge having a long and sordid history of accidents it’s easy to get swept away by conspiracy theories. Sadly, the truth is we may never really know what happened to Jaymie and Matthew, two young men who were taken from this world way too soon.