On March 9, 1967, Mima Joan McKim-Hill, a 21-year-old Australian woman, was tragically subjected to abduction, se*xual assault, and strangulation. The perpetrator responsible for the abduction, raping, and mur*der of 21-year-old Mima McKim-Hill has been relentlessly sought by authorities for over fifty years.
Disappearance and Background
On the fateful morning of March 9, 1967, Mima left her home in Rockhampton at 8:00 a.m. to travel south to Calliope, 114 kilometres away. As a home advisor for a regional electricity board, she was required to travel to various South-East Queensland locations. Mima was responsible for promoting electricity services and demonstrating the capabilities of new electrical appliances to customers.
Unfortunately, her mu*rder remains an unsolved cold case.
Mima was in the company of her manager during the unfortunate events that led to her mur*der; however, they eventually parted ways in Calliope with plans to reunite and return to Rockhampton together.
The last sighting of Mima occurred as she departed from Calliope at 11 a.m., proceeding towards Gladstone.
Mima’s vehicle was discovered the following morning abandoned on a dirt road approximately three kilometres north of the small town of Benaraby. Previously, this road served as the old Gladstone bypass route.
Investigation and Cold Case
Mima’s lifeless body was tragically discovered in a small waterhole near Collard Creek and close to Biloela on March 26, 1967, approximately two weeks after her disappearance. This location was approximately 80 kilometres away from where she had abandoned her vehicle. She had been subjected to both strangulation and se*xual assault, which was disturbing.
An eyewitness reported seeing a parked vehicle on the old bypass road on the evening Mima was reported missing. On the opposite side of the road, two young men were seated in a Ford Customline, with a third individual standing near the driver’s door. These individuals were regarded as important witnesses, but law enforcement was unable to locate them.
The police also interviewed Johann Erich Seefuss, a truck driver whose vehicle was parked on the same road that evening. Nonetheless, he was exonerated and dismissed as a suspect.
Due to a lack of tangible evidence and witnesses, the investigation gradually turned cold, leaving the case unresolved.
Reopening the Case and Pursuing Leads
Following a petition from Shirley Eldridge, a former colleague and close friend of Mima, and Trevor Sorensen, a resident of Rockhampton, the investigation into Mima’s case was reopened in 2008. This initiative prompted the authorities to reconsider the crime’s circumstances.
During the reopened investigation, one line of inquiry focused on the possible involvement of Ivan Milat, a notorious serial ki*ller notorious for his crimes in Belanglo State Forest, and two of his brothers. Due to their travel from Darwin to New South Wales during the relevant time period, this avenue was pursued. However, after a thorough investigation, it was determined that this theory had no bearing on Mia’s case and was ultimately disregarded.
Due to the remote location of the mur*der, which was not a typical area for the victim, it is likely that Mima was the victim of an opportunistic attack.
The Theory Involving Johann Erich Seefuss
Eldridge and Sorensen believe Johann Erich Seefuss is the primary suspect, speculating that he encountered Mima while passing through the area. In the initial investigation, Seefuss disclosed that he had stopped on the bypass road between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. due to a malfunctioning thermostat. He asserted that he had not witnessed anything and had not participated in the mur*der.
A truck driver for the same company testified that between 5 and 5:30 p.m., he observed Seefuss’ truck near the location where Mima’s vehicle was abandoned. Nonetheless, Seefuss was not in the truck at the time. At 7:35 p.m., according to a second witness, the truck was still parked by the roadside.
According to the theory proposed by Eldridge and Sorensen, it is alleged that Seefuss, whose truck was parked and likely unattended on the roadside from at least 5 p.m., encountered Mima by chance in that area. The evidence suggests that he subsequently ab*ucted and assaulted her before driving approximately 80 kilometres to dispose of her body. He could have subsequently returned to the bypass road, abandoned Mima’s vehicle, and continued his journey.
While the police investigated Eldridge and Sorensen’s theory, no charges were ever filed. Consequently, the case remains open to this day.
The Probable Initial Contact and Key Evidence
Based on the available evidence, it is likely that Mima’s first encounter with her k*iller occurred on the old bypass road. This assumption is supported by the location where her vehicle was discovered and the testimony of a witness who saw a woman parked on the side of the road. Mima may have chosen this location to wait for her manager, or she may have stopped to assist someone who needed assistance with their vehicle.
The key piece of evidence in the case is Mima’s abandoned car, which was discovered on the side of the road. The lack of indications of a struggle suggests that the assault did not occur within the vehicle.
Due to a lack of additional evidence, the exact location of Mima’s assault and mur*der remains unknown. However, by analysing the location of Mima’s car and the location where her body was dumped, law enforcement can reconstruct the likely path taken by Mima and her mur*derer, thereby reducing the number of possible mur*der sites.
Mima’s body was found 80 kilometres away from her car, indicating that she was either mrdered near the car and her body subsequently moved, or she was abucted and taken to a remote location where the perpetrator could carry out the crime without witnesses.
The Ongoing Search for Answers
Even to this day, the mu*rder of Mima McKim-Hill remains unsolved. In an effort to encourage new leads and information, a $250,000 reward has been offered for any information that leads to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the criminal suspect.
When combined with the determination of law enforcement, technological advancements can provide opportunities to reexamine evidence and pursue previously unexplored leads. Using modern investigative techniques, there is hope that Rockhampton’s oldest cold case can be solved, bringing Mima’s family and friends much-needed closure and justice.