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‘Nightmare’: Sarah Ristevski was a ‘zombie’ when her mum disappeared

The interview, to air on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, is the first time Sarah has spoken outside court about a case in which she has been a central but almost silent figure.

The program has not confirmed if Sarah was paid for the interview, which includes an insight into her state of mind in the first few months after Karen went missing.

“I felt like we were just zombies, just not sleeping, not eating, we just paused in that day. It just felt like we were trapped in a nightmare,” Sarah, now 24, has told 60 Minutes.

Sarah Ristevski has given an interview to 60 Minutes.

Sarah Ristevski has given an interview to 60 Minutes.Credit:Nine

Motive and method are the big question marks of this case. Those answers are unlikely to come, unless Ristevski himself does a tell-all interview.

Another question is why Sarah has continued to support her killer father, even as the wheels of justice turned and his lack of remorse put him in a jail cell for at least 10 years.

As well as weekly prison visits, she penned a character reference, describing her father as “loving, caring, sympathetic, protective and charismatic”.

She told 60 Minutes that she was more than just Sarah Ristevski “that lost her mum and that has her dad in jail”.

The relationship has left Sarah estranged from Karen’s side of the family. They, like the detectives who laid a murder charge that was reduced to manslaughter, will be watching closely to see what she says.

In the interview, Sarah told reporter Liz Hayes that she did not sense anything wrong on the day of her mother’s disappearance on June 29, 2016.

Sarah, Karen and Borce Ristevski.

Sarah, Karen and Borce Ristevski. Credit:Nine

“I saw her in the morning. I was getting ready to go to an internship and she was on her iPad looking through some styles she was going to order for the store,” she said.

“She asked me for my opinion on the colours and I think I picked a blue or something like that. And then I said, ‘I’m leaving now. I’ll see you when I get back’.”

When she got home that night, Sarah thought it was “weird” her mother wasn’t there.

“He [Borce] said that she’d gone for a walk and not come back,” she said.

Ristevski later told police that the pair had argued about money, leading to his wife walking out of the family home in Avondale Heights to clear her head.

“She was upset that the store [the Bella Bleu clothing boutique] hadn’t done well the day before and dad said, ‘Maybe we should do a sale,’ and she didn’t want to do a sale,” Sarah said.

“Yeah, he was worried.”

Borce Ristevski arrives at his sentencing.

Borce Ristevski arrives at his sentencing.Credit:AAP

That was the first lie of many told by Ristevski, after he put Karen’s body in her Mercedes and drove it to a hiding spot in Mount Macedon Regional Park. His cover-up included acting as pallbearer at the funeral.

Sarah last spoke publicly in 2018 when she gave evidence in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for committal proceedings to decide if her father would go to trial.

In December, she slipped in to the public gallery of the Supreme Court just before her father was told he would serve an extra four years in prison on appeal.

She also attended his original sentencing, only to watch from a side room rather than be there in person.

Each time, she said nothing as she was “bounced” by television court reporters waiting for her on the footpaths outside.

With a scarf covering her face, her perspective remained shrouded in mystery.

Now, she is having her say.

60 Minutes is produced by the Nine Network, which owns this publication.

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