’Suicide’ victim feared for her life
THE bizarre disappearance of a troubled Caboolture woman has quietly been ruled a suicide, despite a coroner admitting she could have been murdered and finding that the woman feared for her life in the weeks before she vanished.
Sandrine Jourdan, 37, disappeared on July 13, 2012.
Her case sparked a national discussion about her possible whereabouts and left her family and friends baffled.
Three persons of interest in Ms Jourdan's case emerged, but Moreton detectives ultimately came to the conclusion that she killed herself.
Following their investigation, detectives handed the file to coroner Christine Clements with the recommendation that a coronial inquest into her death be held.
Ms Clements opted not to hold an inquest and ruled it was possible Ms Jourdan had been murdered.
But because Ms Jourdan had used drugs in the past and suffered from mental health issues, Ms Clements believed it was more likely the mother of three had killed herself.
Ms Clements' findings, exclusively obtained by The Sunday Mail, reveal that a man called Brad Ainsworth called Ms Jourdan the night before she vanished.
Ms Jourdan told her mother that night that Mr Ainsworth had tried to convince her to join him in a suicide pact.
Ms Jourdan's best friend Pieta Morgan has now spoken out against the coroner's ruling, saying Ms Jourdan was deeply concerned about Mr Ainsworth's proposal and would never have taken him up on the offer.
"Sandrine was not suicidal, she was staying at my house until the Monday before she disappeared … She needed an address for three months so she could get her kids back from their father," Ms Morgan said.
"I'm not saying that there wasn't other times she felt (suicidal), but not then. Why would she call me out of concern for Brad who says he is suicidal, only to kill herself?"
Mr Ainsworth is still alive and did not wish to comment when contacted last week.
The coroner's findings state that Ms Jourdan had attempted to take her own life on two occasions in the years leading up to her disappearance.
The findings also state that Ms Jourdan was involuntarily placed in a mental-health facility in 2008, following a self-harm episode, and suggest she was a frequent drug user.
Particular mention is given to her rocky relationship with former boyfriend Ian Cannard, whom Ms Jourdan had "made accusations against … to various people saying she feared for her life and the way he was treating her".
Mr Cannard subsequently told police that Ms Jourdan's wellbeing was "concerning and increasingly paranoid" and he denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Cannard could not be reached for comment.
According to friends and family, Ms Jourdan and Mr Ainsworth had also planned to set off to a Buddhist retreat the day she disappeared.
She was last seen at the Caboolture home of her friend John Boegheim, who is related to the founders of the multimillion-dollar Hema Maps family dynasty.
She was at Mr Boegheim's home on the day she is believed to have vanished.
The Sunday Mail does not suggest Messrs Ainsworth, Cannard or Boegheim were involved in Ms Jourdan's death. All three men have been cleared by police.
Just as perplexing is the detailed letter under the pseudonym Rosella Bunton that was sent to Ms Jourdan's ex-partner Michael Bulla following her disappearance.
"Police established the letter had been sent from Horsham in Victoria. It contained personal accurate information about Sandrine's family including the correct addresses, names of her children, and details of her eldest daughter staying in Sydney," the coronial findings read.
"The letter urged Michael Bulla to forget about Sandrine and move on with his life. Police forensic examination of the letter was inconclusive - the specimen writer could not be identifier (sic) or excluded.
"The name Rosetta Bunton could not be identified or traced."
The coroner's finding cleared Bulla of any wrongdoing.
Ms Morgan says a coronial inquest must be held to give Ms Jourdan's loved ones closure.