The 59-year-old man charged with the 1996 murder of tradie Gregory Thurlow is “somewhat surprised” but doing okay behind bars, according to his lawyer.
The 59-year-old man charged with the 1996 murder of tradie Gregory Thurlow is “somewhat surprised” but doing okay behind bars, according to his lawyer.

Murder accused’s shock over cold case arrest

The man arrested over the cold case murder of Brisbane tradie Gregory Thurlow was "surprised" by his arrest but holding up "okay" behind bars, his lawyer says.

Burpengary East man Mark Stephen Murphy, 59, was arrested yesterday and charged with the 1996 murder of 27-year-old Mr Thurlow.

Defence lawyer Daniel Hannay said Muprhy would be defending the murder charge.

"It's obviously a long, drawn out, protracted investigation," he said.

"Yesterday was a surprise of course.

"There had been investigations ongoing, there were some issues back in 2008 with some things going on and then prior to that obviously that the disappearance. So my client was somewhat surprised."

Mark Stephen Murphy, 59, has been charged with the cold case murder of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: Tara Croser.
Mark Stephen Murphy, 59, has been charged with the cold case murder of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: Tara Croser.

Mr Thurlow was last seen in the late evening hours of October 1 1996 into the early morning hours of October 2 1996, leaving a Bray Park residence in a green 1980 VC Holden Commodore sedan.

Murphy is in custody following his arrest yesterday and was not required to appear in court today.

When asked how Murphy was coping with the arrest, Mr Hannay said he was "okay".

"He's holding up okay considering," he said.

"The brief of evidence no doubt will be enormous and take some time for it to be delivered to us.

"We'll continue to take instructions as to the substantive charge itself and we're going to of course take some instructions with respect to an application for bail.

Murphy's arrest follows a six-month investigation by Homicide's Cold Case Investigation Team in conjunction with Brisbane region detectives and a renewed public appeal for information.

Gregory Thurlow.
Gregory Thurlow.

Police will allege 27-year-old Gregory was killed at Scarborough, or elsewhere in Queensland, shortly after the green vehicle was seen parked along Anzac Ave, Mango Hill on October 1, 1996.

As part of the investigation, witnesses were reinterviewed, forensic exhibits re-examined and a search completed of an area of interest near Mango Hill.

Investigators confirmed new information was received after a billboard was placed on Anzac Ave last month, along with targeted Facebook posts in the region encouraging people with information to come forward.

"We received valuable information from the public during our recent appeal that helped us advance this investigation," Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said on Wednesday.

"While (yesterday's) arrest is significant, we are continuing to appeal to people who may have information about Greg's death and who may have been reluctant to come forward earlier to do so now."

A $500,000 reward remains on offer for information that leads to the conviction of the person, or persons, found to be responsible for Mr Thurlow's murder.

Murphy did not appear during a brief mention of his matter in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning and his case was adjourned to October 19.

Originally published as Murder accused's shock over cold case arrest