A 500,000 dollar reward has been announced for information in relation to the 2008 murder of Francis Foley.
Francis Foley, known as Frank, was 62-years-old when he was last seen at his residence in the Reward Fossicking area near Rubyvale, on or around December 23 2008.
On this date he attended the Emerald Central Business District in the company of a neighbour for Christmas shopping, before returning home.
On 28 December 2008, the same neighbour attended Frank’s property to check on his welfare after local flooding and located an exploded gas bottle and Frank’s wallet discarded in the carport.
Frank could not be located.
Police attended the scene and located blood, which was later identified as Frank’s blood.
Extensive police investigations determined the damage to the gas bottle and further damage to the front security door of the home, were consistent with having been hit by a shotgun blast.
A doorknock was conducted of the area, with a number of neighbours hearing what they believed to be gunshots on the afternoon and evening of either December 23 or December 24.
Investigations over the years since included approximately 100 statements and 150 inquiries by police.
In April 2013, the Coroner returned findings determining that Frank was believed to be deceased, however evidence was unable to be identified connecting any person/s to Frank’s death.
In July 2022, a person fossicking for gems in Sheep Station Creek approximately a kilometre downstream from Frank’s property, located human remains.
With assistance from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons, the remains were identified as belonging to Francis Foley.
Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team detectives commenced a review into Frank’s death.
Frank moved to the Rubyvale area around 2003, working in various trades including carpentry, building and vehicle repairs.
At the time of his disappearance, he was a caretaker for a fossicking lease on behalf of a person who lived interstate.
While it is not believed Frank was a gem miner, it has been identified he owned a number of valuable gemstones.
Police are today conducting an extensive search of the area where Frank’s remains were located.
Francis Foley’s son, Shaun Charlton, says his family is extremely hopeful someone will have the information needed to provide them answers.
“Almost fifteen years after my father’s death, it would mean everything to know what happened and have some closure.
“We ask anyone in the Rubyvale and fossicking communities to please, if you know something, speak to police.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell says the Cold Case Investigation Team is confident the matter can be solved.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Frank and they now have 500,000 reasons to come forward and speak to police.
“Anyone with knowledge of Frank’s movements on 23 December 2008, or who may have information relating to this investigation, is urged to contact police.”
Detectives from the Crime and Intelligence Command are hopeful that the Queensland Government reward will bring in new information to assist police investigations.