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Woman went missing for five years only to appear in her boyfriend's cupboard

Woman went missing for five years only to appear in her boyfriend's cupboard

She became known as the ‘girl in the cupboard’.

A family thought their daughter was dead for five years, but she was found alive in her boyfriend’s cupboard.

Natasha Ryan, 40, who had been at the centre of one of the 1990’s most puzzling missing person cases, was announced dead last Sunday.

Ryan’s body was found on Rockhampton golf course after her husband rang authorities, who have said her death was ‘sudden and non-suspicious’.

But this isn’t the first time Natasha’s family were concerned about her death, after she went missing in the late 90’s for five years.

She was just 14 when she ran away from home, which sparked a huge police investigation, with countless amounts of money spent to try and find her.

Some suggest that the authorities spent as much as $400,000 to find the missing girl.

"I feel free.” (60 Minutes)
"I feel free.” (60 Minutes)

Their efforts were unsuccessful, and fears started to circulate that Natasha had been murdered.

And this wasn’t an unsupported claim, as a number of women in the area had been murdered around the same time, by serial killer Leonard John Fraser.

Even more bizarre, was that Fraser admitted to killing Nataha, and was charged with the crime.

Her family, after hearing the tragic news, held a memorial service in her name.

But she was very much still alive.

The police were tipped-off in 2003 that Natatsha was hiding in her boyfriend’s cupboard, in the northern area of Rockhampton.

She was found, and became known as ‘the girl in the cupboard’.

It was revealed that at 14, Natasha had run away with a man called Scott Black, 22 at the time, whose cupboard she was found in five years later.

The pair had lived a low-profile life together, and still lived very close to where she grew up.

“I know why I left." (60 Minutes)
“I know why I left." (60 Minutes)

She was found very pale, having rarely left the home, except for trips to the beach at night alongside Scott.

While many wondered why Natasha chose to leave her family home to be with Black, she never publicly explained why.

In an interview with New Idea magazine, she said: “I know why I left.

“I'm not sure my mum and my sister completely know all the reasons.

"I'm not sure it would make any difference saying why I left - I feel whatever I say wouldn't be good enough for the pain I've caused my family."

As a result of being found out, Scott Black was given a 12-month jail term for perjury, after lying to a court about where Natasha was.

She was fined $1,000 after being found guilty of causing a false police investigation.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, she said: “I feel really excited that I don’t have to hide any more. I feel free.”

Featured Image Credit: 60 Minutes Australia

Topics: US News