South Australian government to consider cash reward for assistance in locating Peter Falconio's body
| 24.09,22. 02:21 AM |
The South Australian government says it will consider offering a reward to anyone who assists with locating the body of murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio.
The 28-year-old was killed on a stretch of the Stuart Highway, 300 kilometres north of Alice Springs in 2001, while travelling around Australia with his girlfriend, Joanne Lees.
The Northern Territory Supreme Court convicted Bradley John Murdoch of murdering Mr Falconio in 2005.
Murdoch has never revealed the location of Mr Falconio's body, and several extensive police searches have failed to locate his remains.
South Australian Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said the SA government would be "very happy" to look at a reward, following a plea from SA Best MLC Frank Pangallo for the Northern Territory government to offer $1 million for information.
"We've always supported these efforts by police to offer rewards for information on these sorts of cases, particularly a high profile one like this, so we would be very open-minded to doing something similar here," he said.
"I think under both governments over the last 20 years, South Australia has a pretty good history of working with police to offer significant cash rewards in order to illicit information from the community," he said.
"I think we would be happy to look at Frank's proposal here," Mr Mullighan said.
"Peter has a beautiful niece and two lovely nephews who he never got to see or know."
"I am appealing to anyone with a conscience to help me however small to tell me where he [Peter] was put."
Mr Pangallo said the reward could help bring closure to Mrs Falconio and her husband Luciano.
"Somebody must know where Peter is or might have some information or recollection that could be useful to police, no matter how insignificant they might think it is," he said.
"Joan, Luciano, Peter's brothers — Mark, Nicholas and Paul – and their families deserve closure after all these years of grieving and uncertainty."
Acting Superintendent Karl Day from the NT Police said Mr Falconio's remains had never been found and "the missing person's case remains open".
"Police are urging anyone out there, with any information that may assist Peter's family in gaining some sort [of] closure, to come forward and contact police."
Murdoch was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 28 years.
However, the NT's "no body, no parole" legislation introduced in 2016 and his lack of cooperation will likely see him remain behind bars until his death.