An $1million reward is being offered for information surrounding the suspicious disappearance of a man who vanished almost three decades ago.
William ‘Bill’ Roach, 25, was last seen on Barney Street in Armidale, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, on New Year’s Eve, 1993 and was reported missing a few days later.
Police announced on Tuesday the New South Wales Government would increase the original $50,000 reward to $1million.
Mystery surrounds Mr Roach’s disappearance, after he attended a counter-culture festival eight weeks before he went missing where he claimed to have been cursed by witches.
William ‘Bill’ Roach (pictured) was last seen on December 31, 1993 before disappearing under suspicious circumstances
Friends at the time believe Mr Roach left Armidale in search of answers from traditional healers, but Detective Senior Constable Mark Symons believes there was another motive.
Mr Symons claims Mr Roach was possibly involved in the drug trade, in evidence discussed in a podcast commissioned by the NSW Police.
At the time of his disappearance, Mr Roach was described as being of Caucasian appearance, 180cm tall, of thin build, with brown wavy hair, and brown eyes.
When he was last seen, it is believed he was wearing blue jeans, work boots, and a red flannelette shirt with the sleeves buttoned up.
A team of officers reopened the case in 2016 and combed a new property near Armidale for William Roach’s remains
Mr Roach’s body has never been located despite information that he was killed on a remote farm.
His remains were allegedly hidden in a deep waterhole before finally being burnt and buried at another location.
NSW Police formed Strike Force Annan in 2004 to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Roach’s mysterious disappearance and suspected murder.
A 2010 inquest into the 25-year-old’s disappearance found that it was likely Mr Roach had died, but the cause of death was undetermined.
Police received information that Mr Roach had been killed on a remote farm, with his remains allegedly hidden in a deep waterhole before being burnt and buried at another location
Police executed a crime scene warrant at a property on the outskirts of Armidale in February 2016 and increased the reward money to $100,000.
The increased reward for information will help encourage anyone with information to come forward, said Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott.
‘The pain of not knowing what has happened to a loved one is unimaginable, and we hope that the NSW Government’s $1million reward could be the push that helps police find answers for the Roach family,’ said Mr Elliott.
The 25-year-old attended a counter culture festival eight weeks before his disappearance where he claimed to have been cursed by witches
‘Any information, no matter how small, could be the piece police need to solve this case.’
The Roach family deserve to have answers, said New England Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Steve Laksa.
‘William’s family is living with the pain of not knowing where he is, or if any harm has come his way, and they have waited long enough for answers,’ said Mr Laksa.
Police have increased the reward for information surrounding William Roach’s disappearance and suspected murder from the original $50,000 to $1million
Mr Laksa said police believe there are people in the community with vital information about Mr Roach’s disappearance and have information regarding his final hours.
‘We are keen to speak with anyone who has information about his whereabouts, even a small piece of information about William’s movements could make a big difference to this investigation.’
His sister Kim Roach is remaining hopeful for answers.
‘It has been 27 years since we have heard from Bill and we just want to know what happened to him,’ said Kim.
‘We are so grateful for a reward of this magnitude to be offered to assist investigators finally solve this case and find out what happened all those years ago.’