Police are searching bushland as part of the cold case murder investigation into missing bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.
Police are searching bushland as part of the cold case murder investigation into missing bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.

Police scour bushland in search for missing tradie

Police are searching bushland at Mango Hill in Brisbane's north as part of the cold case murder investigation into missing bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.

The 27-year-old vanished hours after being assaulted and detectives have long believed he was killed over a drug debt.

Greg 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.

Drugs, violence and a green Holden: Mystery of missing tradie

Cold case detectives have been reviewing the investigation and today combed an area of bushland adjacent to Anzac Ave.

State Emergency Services volunteers could be seen using metal detectors to scour an area close to the main arterial road.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case investigation into Gregory Thurlow’s suspected murder. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case investigation into Gregory Thurlow’s suspected murder. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

Police confirmed the search was being conducted on the back of new information. The search is on vacant land and investigators are hoping to uncover "items linked with the murder".

"We can confirm we have received new information since our recent public appeal and we thank those people for coming forward," Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said.

"We are continuing to conduct inquiries and appeal for anyone who may have information to make contact with us."

Greg's parents, Jean and James Thurlow, died without knowing what happened to their son. Their deaths finally convinced Greg's family he wasn't coming home.

"It was pretty devastating for them at that time," Greg's uncle Ray Thurlow said recently.

"They were always of the belief that he was just out there and he was going to show up one day.

"It was when his mother and father died two years apart, the rest of the family were hoping that he would come forward but that never happened.

"Please, if you know any information, all we want is closure. We want to know what happened to Greg, (but) more importantly, bring that person to justice if there is some foul play there."

Det Sen Sgt Kentwell from the cold case homicide investigation team said police began reviewing Greg's disappearance in March.

"We do believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passage of time, this crime can be solved, offenders can be brought to justice and we can provide some closure to the family and friends of Greg," she said at a recent press conference.

She said the young unemployed tradie left his mother's home at Manly West on the morning of October 1, telling family he was going to the Redcliffe area.

He was assaulted that day by "persons known to him".

Gregory Thurlow disappeared in 1996. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass
Gregory Thurlow disappeared in 1996. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

Det Sen Sgt Kentwell said that evening he went to an address at Longland St, Scarborough and then to a friend's place at Mitze St, Bray Park.

"Greg left this address in the late hours of the 1st of October into the early hours of the 2nd of October 1996 with a male associate," she said.

"This is the last place Greg was seen alive."

Det Sen Sgt Kentwell said Greg was involved in the drug scene on the Redcliffe Peninsula and police want to speak to anyone who knew him or knew of his movements throughout September 1996 and on October 1.

She said they also want to speak to anyone who saw a green BC Holden Commodore that pulled over on Anzac Ave in the Mango Hill area in the early hours of the morning on October 2.

Detectives believe people spotted the car pulled over with two men - one being Greg - outside the vehicle.

Police have been using a billboard on Anzac Ave to appeal for information on Greg's disappearance and to jog people's memories.

Investigators have also used targeted Facebook posts to help gather information from the public.

"It is never too late to come forward," Det Sen Sgt Kentwell said.

"People who were once scared may no longer be."

A reward of $500,000 is in place for information leading to a conviction.

Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.

Originally published as Police scour bushland in search for missing tradie


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