Man charged over toddler's disappearance in Australia 50 years ago

Cheryl Grimmer vanished from a beach in Wollongong in 1970

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Cheryl Grimmer

A man has been charged in connection with the disappearance of a British toddler from a beach in Australia in 1970.

Cheryl Grimmer was three when she vanished from the changing area of a beach in Wollongong 50 years ago. She had gone to the shower block with her three brothers while their mother packed up their belongings. One of her brother's Ricki ran back to their mother and said that Cheryl had not emerged from the girls' shower area.

A 63-year-old man has now been charged with abduction and murder.

The BBC reports that the man is originally from Britain and was arrested in Melbourne on Wednesday. He would have been 16 in 1970.

Police believe it is unlikely that Cheryl's body will ever be found.

The case was reopened last year after three witnesses said they saw a teenager "loitering" near the scene.

The 63-year-old man was interviewed at the time but was never charged.

News.com.au reports that Det. Insp. Ainsworth said it is believed her death happened within an hour or so of her vanishing.

The man will appear in court on Thursday.