WA [Western Australia] police say they’re keeping an open mind over links to a sect or commune in the disappearance of four people from a small town in the state’s south-west more than nine months ago.
One of the four, Englishman Simon Kadwill, 45, was revealed yesterday as the author of a new age book, Servers of the Divine Plan, predicting the world was about to come to the end of a 75,000-year cycle and enter a phase of higher consciousness.
Brett Mitchell, owner of Esoteric Publishing, which published the book, confirmed Mr Kadwill was the previously anonymous author.
Mr Mitchell rejected speculation the text was linked to a doomsday cult but immediately withdrew it from publication.
Mr Kadwill, Chantelle McDougall, 27, from Victoria and the pair’s six-year-old daughter Leela, along with their housemate Antonio Popic, 40, have been missing since July last year.
They had been living in a house about 10km out of Nannup when Ms McDougall told her mother they were going on a holiday to Brazil.
They sold their car, packed their belongings and left their furniture with their real estate agent.
The four have not been seen since, their bank accounts remain untouched, and there is no sign they ever actually left Australia.
Police appealed for public help in finding the four earlier this week, all of whom had been reported missing except for Mr Kadwill.
Police said they had not been able to track down his next of kin and knew little else about him other than he had been in Australia for seven years.
Servers of the Divine Plan promotes itself as a guide for “servers” to prepare themselves as the globe heads towards an imminent “Great Transition” from darkness into light.
It has prompted speculation he may have led the other three to live in a commune or in isolation somewhere in the forrest’s of the Nannup region.
Police today said they had received more than 30 telephone calls about the disappearances, but there was still nothing to indicate foul play.
“Police continue to keep an open mind in this investigation,” a statement said.
“Speculation about the involvement of religious sect is is simply being treated as speculation – however, police will always keep an open mind.
“At this stage, police have not been able to confirm any involvement of the missing persons in any sect or commune.”
• Original title: Police ‘open minded’ on missing Nannup four