THE brother of missing Maryborough boy Terry Floyd believes the police investigating his disappearance have put his case in the “too hard basket”.
As a team of experts continued maintenance work at a disused gold mine at Avoca at the weekend – a site believed by many to hold the remains of Terry – his brother Daryl Floyd has been left frustrated that police have failed to act on “solid” information provided to them over the years about the case.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what (police) have done over the years, but why has it become a cold case ... after such a long time, they’ve put it in the too hard basket,” Mr Floyd said from the mine site on Sunday.
“It is frustrating for me ... after 39 years (since Terry’s disappearance), my family has copped a life sentence.”
The disappearance of Terry in 1975 haunted his mother until her death on the 12th anniversary of the day he vanished.
On June 28, 1975, Terry, then aged 12, disappeared from the intersection of Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways. Detectives investigating the case at the time initially treated the disappearance as a run-away. When he was not found in the following few weeks, police then believed he was abducted and murdered.
In the past four years, Daryl Floyd has spent more than $150,000 excavating the disused Morning Star Mine at Avoca, a place Mr Floyd is convinced his brother’s body was dumped. While some of the search costs have been reimbursed, Mr Floyd is still tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.
“It is frustrating for me ... after 39 years (since Terry’s disappearance), my family has copped a life sentence.”Daryl Floyd
The team of mining experts returned to the Avoca mine at the weekend to undertake maintenance work after rains affected the search site. Weather permitting, the search will resume in late October or early November this year.
Over the past decades, Mr Floyd has conducted his own investigation into his brother’s case and has regularly passed on what he considered viable leads to the police. He has also set up a Facebook page dedicated to his brother, called Missing Terry Floyd, to keep the conversation going about the case and hopefully prompt someone’s memory about the day the 12-year-old disappeared.
Mr Floyd said there was a strong suspect in the case, but, for legal reasons, could not name the person.
He said the man, who, at the time of Terry’s disappearance was on bail for the assault of a Ballarat boy, was now living in a large regional Victorian centre.
“I have often thought I should have an open forum in Maryborough, so all the facts can be put on the table in relation to Terry’s disappearance.
“What happened to Terry on that day changed so many lives and also led to the premature passing of my mother. Over this journey of trying to get justice for Terry I have been accused of being obsessed, that it has also made me bitter, that I should ‘get over it’ and that Terry’s death should be left in the past. That is exactly what the person/s responsible for Terry’s death are hoping I will do ... no chance at all.”
Mr Floyd, along with father of murder victim Sarah MacDiarmid, have started a campaign to have all murder rewards set at $1 million.
“How can the murder of one person be worth a $1 million reward whereas the murder of another is only worth $100,000 - or nothing in some cases?”
However, Victoria Police have told Mr Floyd that while his equity argument had merit, there were no plans to increase the reward in his brother’s case from $100,000. Mr Floyd wrote an emotional letter to Victoria Police arguing that $1 million rewards had been offered in underworld murders and other crimes, yet other cases carried no reward or smaller rewards.
“I appeal to your sense of justice and ask that Terry’s reward be raised to $1 million so that he can be found and his murderer be brought to justice,” Mr Floyd wrote in his letter.
“On February 4, 2014, Victoria Police offered a $1 million reward for missing ‘Bung’ Siriboon to catch her abductor. Victoria Police said the case is baffling and frustrating for detectives, but they remained hopeful the reward would entice tips to flow in. ‘It’s a life-changing amount’ was stated.
“Terry’s case is also relying on ‘enticing tips to flow in’.
“I would hate to think that as a society we will sit back and allow a child murderer to get away with it because somebody sits in judgment and determines which cases have some higher priority over others.”