Perth's A Current Affair
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.
Jim and Cathy McDougal’s daughter Chantelle and 7 year old granddaughter Leela are missing, and have been for 14 months.
Chantelle’s partner is spiritual conman, Simon Kadwill. He’s also missing, along with the couple’s housemate Tony Popic.
Their disappearance is as mysterious as the conman himself and police are at a dead end.
When the four left their Nannup home in July last year, they left a note on their front door telling the owners they’d moved to Brazil.
They left in such a hurry they only took their personal belongings. They left appliances, furniture and a caravan worth thousands of dollars.
Chantelle told her parents they were moving to Rio Branco.
The Brazilian city is known for attracting religious fanatics from all over the world and is home to several nature based cults including Santo Daime.
But Australian Authorities have failed to locate any of the missing four in Brazil.
46 year old Simon Kadwill promotes himself as a spiritual guru, and tried to establish a network of cyber followers known as the “Truth Fellowship.”
Jody McDonald lived next door to the family in Nannup and said Simon’s behaviour was very strange.
She said he used to rant and rave about a telephone transformer near their home.
Phone records show Kadwill made at least 10 calls to Western Power to complain about the transformer near his property.
Simon’s behaviour became more peculiar when he buried big magnets around his house to counteract the effect of rays coming from the transformer.
Director of the Concerned Christian Growth Ministries, Reverend Adrian van Leen, has been exposing religious cults around the world and helping victims for more than 25 years.
He believes Chantelle is a blind follower of Simon Kadwill.
“Very often sexual attraction is part of the dynamic as well, and once you get caught up in that then the other person has a stronger hold over you,” Adrian said.
“Over the years we've had tragedy with religious extremists and religious fringe groups where people were so led and trusted the leaders they've ended up committing suicide or a combination of murder and suicide."
Detective Sergeant Paul Robinson is leading the missing person’s investigation in Perth, but the trail has gone cold.
“There's no evidence that they've left Australia or any other country legally, by legal means that is. So at this stage it's still quite confusing as to what their intentions and actual movements were,” Detective Robinson said.
Simon and his friend Tony both cleaned out their bank accounts before they disappeared, but thousands of dollars remain in Chantelle’s accounts.
“Chantelle has money in a bank account that to this day hasn't been touched which raises concerns for us,” Detective Robinson said.
Chantelle’s parents are now begging for help.
“We just need to know where they are…please contact someone and tell us you're okay.”
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.