Greg Armstrong was last seen in Maryborough on the morning of May 7, 1997.
Greg Armstrong was last seen in Maryborough on the morning of May 7, 1997.

Cold case Qld: New leads in disappearance of Greg Armstrong

ALMOST 21 years ago, Greg Armstrong vanished.

The 30-year-old was last seen outside a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Adelaide St, Maryborough, on the morning of May 7, 1997.

The circumstances surrounding his suspected murder remain unknown and his final resting place has never been found.

It’s nearly 21 years since he disappeared.
It’s nearly 21 years since he disappeared.

It's a mystery that has unsettled many in the community and a case that still plays on the mind of residents and former cops alike.

Since that week in 1997, Greg's mother Pat and father Colin have died, taking with them the anguish of not knowing what happened to their son.

Greg had a slight intellectual impairment that saw him lured into the region's drug underworld.

Police believe his trusting nature saw him easily tricked into giving away drugs for free, racking up a large debt, and possibly a bounty on his head.

Greg Armstrong worked as a painter.
Greg Armstrong worked as a painter.

This week, detectives revealed they are investigating new leads and getting closer to finally establishing what happened.

Now aged 52, Greg's old brother Mark has chosen to has break his silence exclusively to The Sunday Mail.

He believes his brother's murder shaved years off his parents' lives.

"It had a huge impact on (our parents) and I don't doubt it sort of prematurely aged them or prematurely ended their lives," Mark said from his home near Ballarat last week.

Greg had relocated to Maryborough from Beaufort in Victoria about a year before he disappeared.

He worked as a painter by day and was reported missing two weeks after he vanished.

"He was a very, very hard worker. He took a lot of pride in his work ethic," Mark said.

"He was a little bit slow with his learning. I guess some people would take advantage of him because of his learning disability.

"I don't doubt that that's had some input into his demise."

Mark hopes after two decades that someone will come forward with information that will allow him to bring his brother's remains home.

While investigators remain tight-lipped about their new leads, The Sunday Mail can reveal their inquiries centre on the movements of a particular group - many of whom still live in Maryborough.

In March 2005, state coroner Michael Barnes found that Greg was likely murdered by a drug associate in a forest near Maryborough.

In May 2006, police received new information that led them to search the Tuan Forest, southeast of Maryborough. They found nothing.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Karen Murray, from the Cold Case Unit, said a reward of $250,000 remains in place.

"Like all cold cases, with the passage of time, we get different opportunities that might not have been available when it was originally looked at," she said.

"For us, this investigation has fairly recently been subject to a reopen and review. The way that works is that we pretty much review all of the documentation, we brief senior management and we come up with some strategies.

"Due to the nature of his disappearance, police are of the belief that there are additional witnesses that are still to come forward in this case."

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Email Chris Clarke