HOMICIDE and forensic detectives were yesterday at a dig site near Avoca overseeing the renewed search for the remains of a missing 12-year-old boy.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles and a team of forensic experts were overseeing a large open cut mine-style excavation at the disused gold mine at Bung Bong Hill in the search for the remains of Terry Floyd, a young Maryborough boy who disappeared along the Pyrenees Highway more than 36 years ago.
The entire search site has been cleared of trees and two excavators, one 20-tonne, the other 30-tonne, have been used to dig out the mine.
Hammer drills have also been used to punch through a layer of quartz.
This has meant the dig — initially thought to take only four days — would need to be extended.
The search for Terry’s body has intensified after his grieving family was given permission to dig the open cut mine-type hole at Avoca.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment last week gave Daryl Floyd the green light for an open cut mining operation at the disused Morning Star gold mine in the hopes of finding the body of his brother Terry.
Extensive research by police and Mr Floyd led them to believe Terry’s body was dumped down the mine shaft in dense bushland just off the Pyrenees Highway.
Terry vanished from the intersection of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways, near Avoca, on June 28, 1975.
Detectives investigating the case at the time believed Terry was abducted and murdered.
An initial search of the area began 18 months ago and 54 metres of one mine shaft had been dug out, with tonnes of rubbish removed.
Mr Floyd said maps of the site revealed a ventilation shaft only 20 metres away, but over the years it had collapsed and was too dangerous to dig out by hand.
He said the go-ahead from the DSE to undertake an open cut mine dig of the whole area had given him renewed hope of finding his brother’s body.
Mr Floyd, who was 10 when Terry disappeared, said he had always known of the second nearby shaft, believed to be the dumping site for cow carcasses around the time of Terry’s disappearance.
“This new phase of the search gives me renewed hope of finding Terry,” Mr Floyd said.
“Initially, we thought this dig might take four days and we would be finished by today (Sunday), but it has been a slow process for the machinery to punch through the quartz.
“It may take a little longer.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles said the forensic team would also have an anthropologist on standby to aid in identification.
“If they find bones and we can’t determine if they are animal or human we can send them back to the anthropologist for determination,’’ he said.
“This is a major excavation and Daryl will know one way or the other if his brother is down there.”
Mr Floyd, who travels from Rutherglen to Avoca almost every weekend in the desperate search for his brother, has spent $100,000 — his life savings — and almost $75,000 from Victoria Police and the state government, in the search for the body of his older brother.
Much of the Avoca community has rallied behind Mr Floyd and his family in their quest to find Terry, by donating materials, fuel, food and accommodation.
Many of Mr Floyd’s mates from Ballarat, Avoca, Maryborough and his hometown of Rutherglen regularly donated their time, material and equipment to help the Floyd family realise the dream of finding Terry’s remains in the hopes of giving them closure on the mystery which has plagued them for more than three decades.
Tonnes of rubbish have been removed from the adjacent mine in the past 18 months, but several items of interest have been discovered in the search.
A necklace, which was believed to belong to Terry, was sent away to forensics, but due to the time that had passed, DNA testing proved inconclusive.
Terry’s brother also refused to discount that a red Miller’s shirt found in rubbish dating back to the early 1980s belonged to Terry.
Victoria Police have offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who can help solve the mystery.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit