Case 83

Chantelle & Leela McDougall, Tony Popic

*** Content Warning: Child victim ***

In 2007, 28-year-old Chantelle McDougall told her family she was moving to Brazil for spiritual purposes, along with her daughter Leela, partner Simon Kadwell, and friend Tony Popic. The group packed up their farmhouse in the small Western Australian town of Nannup and vanished, but there was no evidence to confirm they ever left the country. 

Chantelle’s family didn’t believe her story. Simon Kadwell was a religious cult leader and the influential Chantelle had been under his spell for years. Mysterious details and suspected sightings begin to emerge, prompting the question of whether the group had faked their own disappearances, enacted a suicide pact or worse.



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Missing Briton may be conman – The Australian

Fate of Australian doomsday internet cult family from Nannup, Western Australia remains mystery –

Websites claim to offer fake Australian passports – The Daily Telegraph

Parents seek clues to missing daughter – The West Australian

International hunt for cult ‘guru’ over Nannup family disappearance – WA Today

Human bones uncovered in Nannup – Bunbury Mail

Nannup human remains identified as Victorian man – ABC News

Girl in suitcase identified as Khandalyce Kiara Pearce; mother Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson found in Belanglo State Forest – ABC News

‘SHE’S A WRECK’ Swedish dad’s anguish after reunion in Rome with daughter at centre of homeless woman mystery ends with her REFUSING to return home – The Sun

Brazilian search for cult family – The West Australian

Inquest into cult leader Simon Kadwell, Chantelle McDougall and daughter Leela begins – ABC News

Couple died after meeting WA cult leader – SBS News

WA Nannup doomsday cult inquest reveals ‘bizarre, alternative lifestyle’ of missing family – ABC News

Cult leader Simon Kadwell inquest hears police failed to investigate leads including reports of ‘dead flesh’ smell – ABC News

Baffling mystery of a cult and a WA family who vanished 10 years ago – Perth Now

Police failed to investigate leads into disappearance of cult leader Simon Kadwell, inquest hears – International Business Times

Perth doomsday cult leader who disappeared may be alive – Express Digest

Brazil travel claims a ‘ruse’, expert tells inquest – Perth Now

Nannup inquest told Brazil plans a “ruse” – The West Australian

Cult leader Simon Kadwell abused ex-girlfriend as she tried to leave, Nannup inquest hears – ABC News

Couple died after meeting WA cult leader – WA Today

Prolonged police investigation finds no trace of missing WA family, inquest told – WA Today



Chantelle and Leela joined a cult, and then they disappeared – Insight – SBS

Doomsday cult family disappears from Australia



ASN Aircraft Accident description

Aeronautical accident final report

Jean’s blog


Bibbulmun track


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