It’s the small things you miss about loved ones not here

IT'S the small things like quick-chat phone calls and "I love you mum, bye" that Rockhampton's Natalie Barnett misses the most about her murdered daughter.

Natalie, a Woolworths supermarket worker, said she often peered out over the store and hoped her daughter would stroll into the shop.

"I don't get to sleep until early in the morning and then I have to get up and go to work ... I'm in a daze all the time, it's getting to me," Natalie said.

Chantal's parents Glen and Natalie Barnett. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Chantal's parents Glen and Natalie Barnett. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

In a soul-wrenching emotional plea yesterday, Chantal Barnett's parents and Robert Martinez's immediate family sang the same tear-jerking tune at a one-year anniversary press conference at Rockhampton Police Station. They all wanted answers so they could be at ease.

Short, resonating phrases like "I remember it like it was yesterday", "you don't know the pain we live through" and "the feeling is empty" hit home for the family members of the missing pair, who a year on still don't know where their loved ones are.

Natalie said a shopping trip more than a year ago, "when everything was fine", was her last moment with Chantal.

It was Robert's family who shed the most tears yesterday. Mum Julie Martinez said closure would never heal her pain.

"Closure", she believed was a word people used but never knew the extent of one's pain.

She said the last time she saw Robert was on March 1, 2013, when he went over to her house, on a wet Rocky day, took a shower and took to a bit of boxing with his nephew.

"You can often look at your own kids and imagine not saying goodbye or goodnight to them," mum Julie said.

"It's the hardest things to have to live through and you can't even imagine the pain we have to live through."

Girlfriend Melissa McKenzie wanted Robert home desperately.

She said the last time she saw Robert was in early March.

"Before I went to bed I said I love you and then he left, forever ... It's important to us that we find him."

Robert Martinez's girlfriend Melissa McKenzie. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Robert Martinez's girlfriend Melissa McKenzie. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka


Locals see red over skate park maintenance issues

premium_icon Locals see red over skate park maintenance issues

Seeing his beloved skate park inundated with water and mud spurred a local to call...

Plan to train ADF members to fight fires at major CQ base

premium_icon Plan to train ADF members to fight fires at major CQ base

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig is encouraging the ADF to upskill in firefighting at...

UPDATE: Bruce Highway bridge needs repairs after truck crash

premium_icon UPDATE: Bruce Highway bridge needs repairs after truck crash

The wet weather caused the truck to aquaplane, hit the bridge and end up on its...