Ronald Joseaph Buckland appears in court over 1992 disappearance of Radina Djukich

Elle FarcicThe West Australian
VideoA 63-year-old man will appear in court today charged with the cold case manslaughter of Perth teenager Radina Djukich

A 69-year-old man has appeared in court charged with manslaughter over the 1992 disappearance of teenager Radina Djukich.

Ronald Joseph Buckland - the man whom Radina regarded as her father - appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court today by videolink from prison, charged with unlawfully killing the 14-year-old.

Police allege Mr Buckland injected Radina with a substance in May 1992 that caused her death, then buried her body in a bush grave.

The manslaughter charge was read to Mr Buckland but he was not required to enter a plea.

He did not apply for bail and his case was adjourned until later this month.

Mr Buckland reported Radina missing from his North Beach home on May 16, 1992.

Despite several searches since Radina vanished, her body has not been found.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Gary Budge earlier said no other potential grave sites had been identified so no new searches were planned.

Radina’s mother, Christine, has been told of the breakthrough but has not spoken publicly.

“It’s obviously very traumatic for families in these situations,” Mr Budge said.

“This provides some outcome for the family in that we’ve charged someone. But there’s still a long way to go.”

A coronial inquest in 2001 found Radina had been killed, and then-State coroner Alastair Hope found Mr Buckland was either involved in her death or the disposal of her body.

But he concluded there was insufficient evidence to determine whether Mr Buckland was responsible for the teen’s death.

Mr Buckland has previously denied killing Radina or knowing what happened to her.

He named someone else as her killer and led police on four searches for her body.

Mr Budge said cold-case homicide investigators had been working on Radina’s case for more than a year and had identified a new line of inquiry.

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