THE brother of a missing Maryborough boy, presumed dead, believes a Ballarat link might hold the key to solving one of the most baffling cold cases in the region’s history.
Daryl Floyd has been searching the Morning Star Mine at Avoca for almost two years in hope of finding the remains of his brother Terry, who disappeared 36 years ago, aged 12.
Terry vanished from the intersection of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways on June 28, 1975.
After years of extensive investigations and research by police and Mr Floyd, he believes the disused mine was the burial ground for his brother.
But now police are seeking information on a panel van, last seen in Ballarat, which could hold further clues to solving the case.
One of Victoria’s most experienced homicide investigators, Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, told The Courier the vehicle could still be in the Ballarat area.
“Homicide investigators believe Terrance Floyd was abducted by a male person driving a HK Holden Panel Van when he left Avoca,” he said.
“They are interested in anyone who may have knowledge of a particular HK Panel Van. It was originally cream and later painted orange.”
Police believe the vehicle was traded in at Braybrook Car Sales on September 4, 1979.
THIS IS A PANEL VAN SIMILAR TO WHAT POLICE ARE SEARCHING FOR
“Someone may have purchased it and still have it sitting around in their back yard,” Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles said.
Daryl Floyd said the panel van, if found, might even hold DNA evidence his brother was once inside.
“Two eyewitnesses said they saw this panel van and my brother getting into it,” he said.
“We believe it could still be around the Ballarat area — maybe someone has had it in their shed or backyard for years.”
Mr Floyd said he had not given up hope of finding his brother’s remains in the Morning Star Mine, despite having no luck so far.
“We’re trying to get some maps of how the mine works underground, so we have a better idea where to look,” he said.
“A geologist is helping us and hopefully we’ll have some results.”
Earlier this year the Department of Sustainability and Environment gave Mr Floyd permission to dig the open-cut mine in the dense bushland only metres from the last sighting of Terry in 1975.
Homicide and forensic detectives were overseeing last month’s dig and an anthropologist was also on standby to aid in identification.
Anyone with information on the panel van can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Homicide Squad on 9865 2385.