Her Absence Filled The World
Her absence filled the world.
It's an image by Kentridge, a simple sketch of a figure standing on an empty hill with the words 'her absence filled the world' sprawled across it. An desolate image that makes you think about loneliness and loss, and grief. For me, it makes me think of something other.
I read a story a few years ago, and it haunts me still. It is about a girl, a young girl who moved out of her home in Pyramid Hill when she was nineteen. Her learning disability was mild enough to present few barriers, and she could read and write and work.
Her name was Krystal Fraser.
You've probably never heard of Krystal, right? If you lived in Pyramid Hill prior to 2009, you might remember a bright, sociable girl who was described by a community member as a 'serial pest'. She talked to everyone, indiscriminately - as a person with a mild intellectual disability, she wasn't supported by staff. And eventually Krystal fell pregnant, although nobody ever knew who the father was.
The reason you've never heard of Krystal Fraser is that she is almost certainly dead.
The real reason you've never heard of Krystal Fraser is that her absence never for a minute filled our world.
Why, in a country where the killing of 29 year old Jill Meagher invoked widespread outrage, public displays and a thirty thousand strong march, did the murder of pregnant Krystal Fraser cause barely a ripple?
The easy answer is this - Krystal had a disability. And despite being loved by family and included at the fringes of her community, she has now almost been forgotten.
Chris Johnson and Nino Bucci wrote a very good investigative piece three years later about Krystal - you can read it here.
There are a few other online references in the Herald Sun, and a call for information and an offer of a reward from the Victorian Police. But Krystal's disappearance has largely gone unremarked by our community - it is like she was never here.
Krystal was twenty three years old.
I read the tributes for Jill Meagher - bright, popular, an ABC employee.
But there are no tributes for Krystal, who walked out of a hospital to meet her unknown killer. No yellow ribbons tied around trees for a girl who had 'too many friends'. The family stands alone on the hill, waiting for a phone call that may never come.
The last time Krystal was seen alive was at a house in Pyramid Hill, where she made a call from her mobile. It was Friday night, and she had checked out of the hospital where she was due to give birth on Sunday. Just before midnight, someone else called from a public telephone box some fifteen minutes away. And that was it - her phone was tracked travelling down a bush road nearby, and Krystal was never seen again. Her baby, a boy who she planned to call Ryan, was due two days later.
Krystal's brother, sister and parents are convinced that she was murdered.
"She was always on her phone. I heard from my daughter 20 times a day, every day," her mother, Karen, says.
"If she was out there, she would have found a way to contact me....I believe she was murdered."
The hardest part for her family is not knowing where Krystal is.
"If it’s raining, I wonder if she’s warm and dry," her mother says. "If it’s hot, I wonder if she’s staying out of the sun."
"I just take one day at a time. She’s gone. I have no answers."
I cannot imagine not knowing where my daughter is, or contemplating the thought that I will never know.
Her absence would fill my world, and I would expect it to fill yours.
There is a 100,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension or conviction of whoever killed Krystal and her unborn child.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.