SA Police have announced a $200,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the body of a young mother-of-two who disappeared, and is believed to have been killed, a year ago.
Tanja Ebert, 23, was reported missing by her husband and sister-in-law on 10 August last year – two days after the last confirmed sighting of her.
Police were advised that Ms Ebert got out of the family vehicle at Roseworthy on August 8 and walked away, investigators now strongly suspect she was still in the vehicle after it travelled north from the Roseworthy area.
Ms Ebert's husband, Michael Burdon, 41, fatally shot himself at the couple's property, Oulnina Park Station at Manna Hill, on 16 August while police were present making inquiries into his wife's disappearance. He remains the only suspect in relation to her suspected murder.
A reward of $200,000 was announced today for any information leading to the recovery of Ms Ebert’s remains, with investigators revealing they believe that there are people in the community who know exactly what happened to Ms Ebert.
Detective Sergeant Paul Ward, from the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, described the case as a tragedy for all concerned.
“There are now two young boys who are orphaned and Tanja’s family in Germany have no place to visit, or body to lay to rest,” he said.
“And while her remains have not been found, Oulnina Park Station will always have a cloud over it.
“We, as the investigation team, suspect her remains are on that property, so until she is found there will always be that question over the station at Manna Hill.
“We have searched all the waterways, all the sentimental locations, and buildings at the property but unfortunately we have not found her.
“This property is enormous (410 square kilometres), but everything leads us to believe she is there.
“The investigation has been able to establish a timeline of certain events however there is a period of 6-7 hours that we cannot account for Michael’s movements on 9 of August, plus a period of approximately 35-40 minutes on 8 August.
“As a result of our 12 month-long investigation, we suspect there are people that do know the circumstances of Tanja’s death.
“We would encourage those people to come forward and speak with us.
“This is a tragic event and all tragic events have a continued ripple effect- we want to recover Tanja’s remains and provide answers for the sake of the children, for the sake of the family in Germany and because it’s the right thing to do.
“At times people can be reluctant to speak the truth in a bid to protect other people’s reputations, but we would ask those people to put that to one side.”
Detective Sergeant Ward acknowledged that the couple had had challenges, and Tanja had spoken of leaving the property, however he noted she was living at the station on 8 August and there was no evidence to support her still being alive.
“There are pieces of information that have been identified during the investigation that have led us to believe that,” he said.
Anyone with information about this matter is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://crimestopperssa.com.au