An inquest into the disappearance of an Indigenous woman in the Kimberley almost 20 years ago has heard the initial investigation was shut down prematurely and case files were “destroyed or lost.”

The 22-year old woman was last seen in a taxi leaving a house in Broome in April 1999.

A two day inquest is looking into the circumstances of her suspected death.

On Tuesday the Coroner’s Court heard original case files were lost or destroyed at the Broome Police Station and the original missing persons investigation was closed after a reported sighting of the woman which was never corroborated or confirmed.

The woman’s relatives say they are appalled at how the investigation was handled and believe the inquest is “well overdue.”

The inquest continued on Wednesday.