Seeking anonymous tipster

A fresh Cold Case episode revisiting the disappearance of toddler Amber-Lee Cruickshank in Kingston 30 years ago has resulted in multiple calls to police with information.

Amber-Lee, 2, was last seen on October 17, 1992, at a Cornwall Street property.

The show, which aired on TVNZ on Tuesday night, revealed detectives are ‘‘desperately’’ wanting to speak to a person who provided anonymous info in 2010.

Detective sergeant John Kean says cops last year offered a $100,000 reward for information or evidence leading to the identity and conviction of anyone responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.

They subsequently received new information from a ‘‘credible source’’ a Kingston resident may have some knowledge or ‘‘possible involvement’’ in the disappearance.

Detectives since turned their attention back to a man from the area who was at the house the day Amber-Lee went missing, saying there are inconsistencies in his statements.

Detective Stuart Harvey says the man first stated he didn’t see Amber-Lee when he arrived at the address, but in his second statement he ‘‘talked about seeing her play with the dog in front of the bus’’.

‘‘Clearly we can’t have it both ways.’’

Kean says the recent information police have received is connected to the information they got in 2010, which is ‘‘quite significant in its
own right’’.

‘‘Coupled with the recent information we’ve got, I’d really desperately like to speak to that person, anonymously, if that suits them, and to any person that they may have told that story to …’’

Amber-Lee’s family were moving to the West Coast from Invercargill, stopping at Kingston to spend the night with friends.

She’d spent the afternoon by Lake Whakatipu and had a barbecue with her mum, Nicola Cruickshank, stepdad, baby brother, and others — not all known to each other — before she disappeared.

Despite exhaustive land and water searches, there’s been no sign of Amber-Lee since.

Cruickshank doesn’t believe the people they were staying with had anything to do with Amber-Lee’s disappearance, but told Cold Case she has ‘‘no idea’’ about the others, and pleaded for the person responsible to come clean.

‘‘I still remember that night and I could not believe that they didn’t walk through the door with her, I never thought for one minute [that]
30 years down the track I’d be sitting here today still looking for answers,’’ she says.


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