Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Reward sparks fresh tips about missing Amber-Lee Cruickshank

More than 70 people have contacted police with tips about the disappearance of toddler Amber-Lee Cruickshank.

The little girl was last spotted on October 17, 1992 at a Cornwall St property in Kingston, at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu.

After decades of fruitless searches and few leads, police decided to throw a cash incentive into the mix.

On April 13 they announced they were offering a $100,000 reward for information or evidence leading to the identity and conviction of anyone responsible for the 2-year-old’s disappearance.

This week Detective Inspector Stu Harvey said more than 70 calls have been received from people offering information.

“The investigation team has been encouraged with the interest the reward offer has generated and continues to make follow-up contact with those who have come forward,” he says.

“This is a lengthy process with each piece of information provided requiring examination, evaluation and review.”

The offer of a reward will remain in place until October 13.

The reward money will be funded through the police budget.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 105 and reference Operation Oliver.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or fill out their online form here.

What happened to Amber-Lee?

Amber-Lee was last seen on October 17 1992 at Kingston, a small town at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu.

The toddler was there with her mother, stepfather and baby brother – the family had left their home in Invercargill and were heading to the West Coast to start a new life together.

They stopped at Kingston for a night to catch up with friends.

After an afternoon by the lake and a barbecue, the toddler vanished and despite exhaustive land and water searches there has been no sign of her in almost three decades.

Nicola Cruickshank said she had never given up hope her daughter – who would have turned 31 on May 5 – would be found.

Chasing Ghosts

In 2017, to mark the 25th anniversary of Amber-Lee going missing, the Herald worked with Nicola Cruickshank and police on Chasing Ghosts – a six-part podcast series, news feature and mini-documentary about the case.

Listen to the podcast here:

• iHeart Radio https://www.iheart.com/podcast/211-Chasing-Ghosts-28579572/
• iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/chasing-ghosts/id1299949050?mt=2

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