WHEN Jill Meagher mysteriously disappeared from a major Brunswick street two Saturday mornings ago, it triggered widespread interest across the state.
Where was the pretty 29-year-old Irish ABC worker who had to walk just 750 metres from a local bar to the flat she shared with husband Tom?
When CCTV footage emerged of Jill being approached by a stranger in a blue hoodie as she made her way home, her disappearance suddenly went from puzzling to sinister.
With the discovery she had been raped, murdered and buried in a shallow Gisborne grave, the whole of Victoria mourned.
People took to the streets to march not only for Jill, but also for improved personal safety. But why did this particular murder grab a nation’s attention? Why did we mourn Jill to such an extent flowers carpeted Sydney Road?
Sadly, Daryl Floyd has a very personal insight.
“We’ve always been intrigued with these type of cases,” Daryl said.
“And now with all the variations of crime shows on TV, the general public is getting more of an understanding of murders and crimes.”
And Daryl said people should always be alert because “these people are out there, trust me they are out there”.
Daryl’s brother Terry was just 12 when he was abducted and presumably murdered near Avoca on Saturday, June 28, 1975.
He was last sighted at the intersection of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways where he told a friend he was expecting a lift.
His friend returned home, but his concerned mother sent him back to wait with Terry. The friend saw Terry thumbing a ride back to his hometown of Maryborough.
Another witness saw a young boy, presumably Terry, on the road but she heard a car pull up before she could approach him.
Terry has never been seen since, but Daryl has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into searching an abandoned, debris-filled mine shaft near Avoca for his older brother’s remains.
“It’s the most shocking ordeal a family can go through,” Daryl said.
“You go through this period of having a young person in your family going about their daily business and then, in one foul breath, they’re gone. It’s not just an incident that takes place. Your whole life is turned upside down.”
But Daryl also warned against vigilante-style trial by social media.
“It’s very hard to get a conviction so don’t do anything that will hinder an investigation.”
Daryl said he was in favour of increased CCTV security, which was the main factor in solving Jill Meagher’s disappearance.
Daryl said he was continuing his mineshaft search, and had recently discovered margarine containers from 1980, leaving him five years of debris to search. He has been joined by a Rutherglen geologist who is currently searching for maps of the area. Daryl said more locals were also coming forward with information about Terry’s disappearance.
Former homicide detective Charlie Bezzina has also offered to guest speak at a fundraising night in Ballarat, with Daryl hoping a venue may donate to his cause.
“Every little dollar counts.”
If anyone wishes to help with Daryl’s search for his brother or a venue for his fundraising night, he can be contacted on 0402 125551.