Homicide Squad detectives are continuing to appeal for information in relation to the 1984 death of Windsor teen Mandy Lee Yodgee.
Mandy was born in Melbourne and most of her childhood was spent in and around the Prahran and South Yarra areas, where she was well known in the local community.
Mandy had gone to school at the Melbourne Church of England Girls School and later Prahran Technical College, however she left school when she was just 14-years-old and secured a job at a local leather and travel goods business.
She took great pride in her appearance and was known for her sense of style.
On Sunday, 29 April 1984, 17-year-old Mandy left her Windsor home about 4.20pm and travelled by taxi to the South Yarra Arms Hotel on Toorak Road.
At the time she was wearing her favourite pink suede boots, a pink cardigan, blue jeans, and was carrying her tan handbag with a foxtail charm attached to the handle.
According to a family friend, when Mandy left home she indicated she would be spending the night at her boyfriend’s flat.
Mandy was also excited about her pending eighteenth birthday and a celebration had been planned for the following Saturday.
Mandy arrived at the South Yarra Arms Hotel about 5.30pm and witnesses told police that Mandy stayed for about an hour. Witnesses also reported seeing Mandy socialising and drinking with a male before leaving the hotel with him an hour later.
This male was not Mandy’s boyfriend of the time.
Mandy and the male travelled in his car to the nearby Windsor Castle Hotel on Albert Street, Windsor, arriving about 6.45pm.
At 11pm that night, Mandy and the male left the hotel together and drove in his car to a pizza restaurant on Bendigo Street, Prahran.
After purchasing food, Mandy went with the male to his unit in Prahran where they ate the pizza and continued to drink until the early hours of the morning.
When questioned by investigators, the male stated that Mandy left the unit alone sometime after 1.30am. He also said that Mandy intended to call a taxi as he was unable to drive her home due to his level of intoxication.
Investigators do know that Mandy did not attend her boyfriend’s flat and there is nothing to verify Mandy ever left the male’s unit.
On Wednesday, 2 May 1984 Mandy was reported missing at the Prahran police station and at this time, Mandy had not been home or attended work for three days.
She had missed her eighteenth birthday and had not been seen or heard from by her family members or boyfriend.
After becoming aware that Mandy was missing, several witnesses came forward and provided information to investigators. This included two independent sightings of Mandy on both 2 and 3 May.
On Tuesday, 8 May 1984, Mandy’s body was discovered off the side of the Mountain Highway, Sassafras in the Dandenong Ranges.
She was face down and fully clothed, however her pink suede boots had been removed. Investigators believe they may possibly have been removed and thrown from the highway down the embankment where she was eventually discovered.
There were a number of signs that Mandy’s death and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance were suspicious, and detectives still strongly believe that Mandy was murdered.
Investigators also believe that there are still people in the community who know what happened to Mandy and who was responsible.
Despite the passage of almost 40 years, Mandy is never far from the thoughts of her loving family who still desperately grieve her.
Not knowing why Mandy was taken from them and what she may have endured in her final hours torments them to this day.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed Mandy’s movements between 29 April, 1984 and 8 May, 1984 particularly in either the South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor and Dandenong Ranges areas.
Detectives would also like to hear from anyone else who has information about Mandy’s disappearance and who is responsible for her death.
The man Mandy was last seen with on the night of 29 April, 1984 remains a strong person of interest.
After almost four decades, police and Mandy’s family are hopeful that it will be the right time for a brave individual to stand up and do the right thing, and give them much needed answers.
Reviewed 22 December 2022