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Reward for information on Lightning Ridge murder

Paul Murray – 1995. Photo supplied

A $500,000 reward has been offered by the NSW government to try and solve the murder of a man in Lightning Ridge 28 years ago.

In 1995, Paul Murray was living on his campsite at Wyoming about eight kilometres north-west of Lightning Ridge after moving there from Sydney.

Last Friday, Detective Chief Inspector, David Laidlaw from the State Crime Command’s Unsolved Homicide Unit, faced a media conference to announce the reward and to appeal again for information to solve the murder of Mr Murray.

“Paul was a generous man who had inherited a sum of money from a motorcycle accident he had when he was a teenager,” Detective Inspector Laidlaw said.

“He would lend sums of money to people and always had a little black book to record what was lent and what was paid, and that shows the calibre of Paul”.

According to Det Inspector Laidlaw, March 19, 1995, was the last time Paul was seen.

“Two of his friends travelled to Lightning Ridge two days later and on March 22 they have gone to his camp site and found it in a pristine condition, his wallet was there, his belongings - but no black book.

“On March 26 Paul was reported missing to police and the following week an extensive search was conducted by police and the SES but failed to locate Paul’s whereabouts.

“On April 22, 1995, Paul’s body was located about two kilometres from his campsite,” he said.

In 1996 the then state coroner, John Abernethy, left an open finding as to the manner and cause of death.

Detective Inspector Laidlaw said the matter was reviewed constantly by the Unsolved Homicide Squad and he hoped the reward announced last week would lead to more information being handed to police, and a chance of solving the case.

“The reward offered may encourage people to come forward to give us as investigators the information we need.

“It would be also good for the family to have closure about what happened on that day,” he said.

Paul’s sister Rosemary also pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

“My dear brother, murdered in March 1995, had brain damage, was kind and generous and lent money to people in need,” she said.

“Paul deserves justice. If you have any information, please call police. We would also like to thank the NSW government for putting up this reward and the detectives on the Unsolved Unit who have worked tirelessly on this case.”

Paul’s youngest brother Simon also made an emotional plea to the public.

“People knowingly took advantage of him,” he said. “We love him more than words can express, and we continue to grieve without closure or redemption.

“I am standing here to plead to those who have information to speak to the authorities. Put yourself in our position – 28 years of grief and tears.

“Paul had his hand outreached to people to take him to safety, but they led him to his death,” Simon said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or NSW Police.


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