Qld police offer reward on Youngkin murder2:13
Qld police are offering a $250,000 for information on the 1986 murder of Brisbane man Wayne Youngkin.
Mr Youngkin’s body was found in a septic tank at his Queensland property, 30 years after he went missing.
FOR more than 30 years, friends of family of Wayne Youngkin have had no idea what happened to the Queensland man after he went missing from his home.
The 29-year-old disappeared in 1986, and while some held out hope the young man had simply upped and fled interstate, all optimism was dashed when last year his remains were found inside a septic tank in the yard of the house he lived in with his grandmother and uncle.
The discovery was a shock, but also provided some relief. There was no more wondering where Mr Youngkin was — desperate friends and family now knew he was dead.
But the discovery opened up a whole new mystery when Mr Youngkin’s death was ruled a murder.
What had happened to Wayne? Why was he killed and who was responsible?
Today, Queensland police have renewed their quest for answers announcing a $250,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Wayne Youngkin’s murderer.
“Mr Youngkin went missing in 1986 — that’s over 30 years that his family and friends have been waiting to find out what happened to him,” Police Minister Mark Ryan said announcing the award.
“I have approved this reward in the hope that it will prompt someone out there in the community that has been sitting on information about this case for years to finally come forward.”
Mr Ryan also said investigators would consider an “appropriate indemnity from prosecution” if an accomplice to the person who committed the crime would come forward.
“I want to make it clear though, that this reward will only be paid to someone who was not directly involved in the crime but may have vital information needed for police to solve this case,” he said.
The appeal follows an extensive investigation that commenced after Mr Youngkin’s remains were found hidden in a septic tank at the Brighton property last November.
The man’s decaying body was discovered inside the tank, as were items of clothing, a ring, and a gold watched etched with Mr Youngkin’s initials.
Also alongside the body was a set of car seat covers, which police have today provided new images of.
Detective Inspector Tim Trezise said it was hoped the new images of the car seat covers, as well as never before seen photograph of Mr Youngkin with an unidentified female friend, would generate new leads.
“Over the past seven months, we have made several significant discoveries relating to Mr Youngkin, including the car seat covers and a watch believed to have belonged to him,” he said. “We hope that these enhanced images of the car seat covers might jog someone’s memory. We are trying to find out their origin and speak with anyone who may have had those car seat covers at the time.”
Police had used dental records to help determine the decayed body belonged to Mr Youngkin.
A post mortem examination revealed Mr Youngkin had suffered “certain trauma”, Mr Trezise said at the time.
Since the grisly discovery, police have ramped up their investigation into the murder.
Investigators scoured bushland in Sandgate in February this year, and later sent police divers to search wetlands north of Brisbane in April following a tip-off.
After the February search, Detective Acting Superintendent Mick O’Dowd said: “We’re not sure what we’re actually looking for”.
Police have previously appealed for the author of an anonymous handwritten letter, sent to Sandgate police station on December 9, 2016, to come forward. An anonymous call was also made to Crime Stoppers in December last year.
Mr Youngkin’s disappearance was not widely reported at the time because it was believed some family members or friends thought he had just moved away.
Though he was last seen in 1986, he was only reported missing after six years. A police investigation at the time failed to turn up any answers.
It is understood all of Mr Youngkin’s close family members had died since his 1986 disappearance, but police managed to track down his next of kin following the discovery of his remains.
Insp Trezise said investigators were hoping the reward would encourage members of the public to come forward.
“Police are committed to solving this case, and we would urge anyone who may be assisting in keeping the crime a secret to come forward as this is their opportunity to do so with the chance of indemnity,” he said.
“Police currently have several avenues of investigation which may not have been possible if it weren’t for the assistance of the local community providing valuable information.
“We would like to hear from anyone who knew Wayne Youngkin or his movements in the early to mid 1980s, no matter how minor it may seem.”