Homicide detectives have charged a man with the murder of a tradie who disappeared 24 years ago.
Homicide detectives have charged a man with the murder of a tradie who disappeared 24 years ago.

Man charged with murder of missing tradie

Cold case homicide detectives have charged a man with the murder of Brisbane tradie Gregory Thurlow, who disappeared 24 years ago.

Detectives recently revealed they were reviewing the cold case murder and made a public appeal for people with information to come forward.

A Burpengary East man is now in custody and is expected to appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

"Today, a 59-year-old man from Burpengary East was arrested for the 1996 murder of Gregory James Thurlow," Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said.

"The man was interviewed as part of the original police investigation and was again approached as part of our recent review.

"As this matter is now before the court, I am not in a position to provide further details in relation to the man's identity or the evidence before the court."

Mr Thurlow was 27 when he vanished hours after being assaulted and detectives have long believed he was killed over a drug debt.

His parents died without knowing what happened to him and his absence at their funerals finally convinced his family he was dead.

He was last seen on the night of October 1 - or possibly the early hours of October 2 - in 1996, after leaving a friend's house in Bray Park.

As part of our investigation, we have reviewed thousands of pieces of information dating back to 1996," Det Sen-Sgt Kentwell said.

"We've interviewed and re-interviewed witnesses and conducted forensic reviews of available exhibits.

"Greg was much loved by family and an extended group of friends.

"Sadly, Greg's parents, Jean and James, are no longer with us, passing away without knowing what happened to their son."

Police recently searched a vacant lot at Mango Hill, north of Brisbane, using SES volunteers who scoured the paddock adjacent Anzac Ave with metal detectors.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

People came forward with new information after a billboard was placed on Anzac Ave showing Mr Thurlow's picture. Targeted Facebook ads were also used by police.

"We received valuable information from the public during our recent appeal that helped us advance this investigation," Det Sen-Sgt Kentwell said.

"While today's arrest is significant, we are continuing to appeal to people who may have information about Greg's death and who may have been reluctant to come forward earlier to do so now."

Police want to speak to anyone who saw a green 1980 VC Commodore pulled over on Anzac Ave in the early hours of October 2, 1996.

Witnesses saw Mr Thurlow and another man standing beside the car at the time.

A $500,000 reward remains on offer for information that leads to the conviction of the person, or persons, found to be responsible for Gregory's murder.

Originally published as Man charged with murder of missing Brisbane tradie


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