Boy's shirt found in Avoca mine

By Kim Quinlan
Updated November 2 2012 - 4:00am, first published November 12 2010 - 2:12am
Boy's shirt found in Avoca mine

A SHIRT believed to belong to missing Maryborough boy Terry Floyd has been found in a disused mine shaft near Avoca.The red Miller's shirt was discovered by an excavation crew on Thursday after a six-week search of the former Morning Star gold mine at Bung Bong Hill.The shirt, found in good condition about 25 metres down the shaft, is believed to have been worn by Terry the day he disappeared from along the Pyrenees Highway on June 28, 1975. Terry's brother Daryl, who has been financing the excavation of the shaft, located only 500 metres from where his brother was last seen, was confident the children's sized shirt belonged to the missing 12-year-old."We were a poor family and so didn't have many clothes. Terry had two Miller's shirts, a blue one and a red one, and he was wearing one the day he disappeared," Daryl said yesterday from the search site."I was only 10 when Terry went missing and I can remember stories that Mum told at the time saying that he was wearing a Miller's shirt, but I can't remember which colour it was."I will be shattered if we don't find anything after the search, but the discovery of this shirt has lifted my hopes and makes me convinced that the information given to me about this particular mine shaft a few month ago was spot-on."While Terry disappeared in the mid-1970s and the shirt was found among rubbish dating back to only the early 1980s, Daryl believes the item of clothing may have been snagged on the side of the shaft for some years before being dislodged. The shirt has been bagged ready for police examination.Yesterday, the Maldon excavation crew reached the 25.2-metre mark of the shaft, but experts believe the mine could be as deep as 30 metres.Daryl said the excavation crew, which initially worked at the site only at weekends, had spent eight hours each day since last Saturday down the mine removing tonnes of rubbish in the search for Terry's body."They go down at 9am, come back up for a break at 3pm, then go back down for another two hours. They need to work six hours straight because getting up an down the ladder, which goes down 25 metres at the moment, is just too hard," Daryl said. Anything of interest found in the mine is recorded by a crime scene photographer and pictures are then sent to Melbourne where they are examined by a pathologist. A detective has also been on site during the digging.