A $750,000 reward, the second-highest in the state, has been announced by NSW Police for information leading to the recovery of Bathurst man Andrew Russell’s remains.
In announcing the reward on Friday, Chifley Police District’s Commander, Superintendent Paul McDonald, said no family should ever have to go through the agony of not knowing what happened to their loved one.
And he said those who know something about what happened to Mr Russell now have “750,000 reasons to come forward”.
Mr Russell left his home to visit his father on June 2, 2009, but never made it there.
Detectives attached to the then Chifley Local Area Command established a strike force investigating Mr Russell’s disappearance and presumed murder and, after a lengthy investigation, two men, Tony Simmons and Kieren Moore, were charged in relation to Mr Russell’s disappearance.
Moore was charged with being an accessory after the fact, but the matter against him was discharged by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Simmons was charged with Mr Russell’s murder, but was found not guilty after a judge-alone trial spanning 14 weeks, before Justice Peter Hamill.
In October 2016, a coronial inquest into the disappearance and suspected death of Mr Russell found he died on or shortly after June 2, 2009 and his death was suspicious.
Mr Russell’s family, who want to bring him home, have been petitioning the NSW Government for a reward in the case.
Supt McDonald told the media on Friday that NSW Police Minister Troy Grant had established a reward of $750,000 “relating to the recovery and return of Andrew Russell’s remains to his parents”.
“We know someone out there can provide this information,” he said.
“We call on that person or people to come forward and give closure [to the family].
“No family should have to endure the heartache of not knowing what happened to their loved one.”
Supt McDonald said investigators had never wavered in their pursuit to provide answers to Mr Russell’s family.
“This case remains close to the heart of this Police District, and detectives are committed to finding Andrew,” he said.
“In the years since his disappearance, we have searched extensively to determine what happened to him, and we will continue until we know the facts and bring him home.
“We know someone knows exactly what happened to Andrew and we believe there are others who can help us find him.
“Those people now have 750,000 reasons to come forward and allow his family to lay him to rest with the dignity and respect Andrew deserves.”
Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Renshaw investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information will be treated confidentially.