In a significant development after over three decades, Darren John Chalmers, 56, a Perth-based gardener, made a court appearance confessing to the brutal crime of murdering a Victorian mother. During a short session at the Victorian Supreme Court, he solemnly admitted to the 1992 killing of Annette Steward, a mother of two.
When queried about his plea, he quietly acquiesced with a simple affirmation, “Guilty.”
Steward’s lifeless body had been accidentally discovered by a friend visiting her residence on Hope Street in Geelong West on March 18, 1992. She had been stripped and left in a perturbing display of violence. With his plea, Chalmers confirmed he was indeed the one who robbed Steward of her life two days prior to her body being found.
Chalmers was formally brought back to Victoria in March of the current year following charges filed by homicide detectives tackling the cold case. The court divulged Chalmers’ last known residence as being in Medina, a suburb located in Western Australia. His most recent employment was as a gardener.
The particulars concerning Steward’s tragic demise lingered as a puzzling enigma for many a year, prompting Victoria Police to announce a $1m reward in the year 2015 in the hopes of unearthing any viable leads.
In an interesting turn of events, the year 2020 saw Chalmers arrested and subsequently questioned by Victorian detectives regarding Steward’s murder around the same time as the WA Police were launching an investigation not related to this case.
Chalmers is currently being held in custody and is slated to reappear for a pre-sentencing hearing in November. It was reported that certain members of Ms Steward’s family, who are currently residing out of state, intend to journey to Victoria to attend the much-anticipated hearing.