The New South Wales Government has increased the reward for information into the death of a Tamworth teenager more than three decades ago to $1 million.
The body of 17-year-old Mark Anthony Haines was found on the train tracks outside of Tamworth on Saturday January 16, 1988.
A New South Wales Police investigation at the time and a coronial inquest failed to conclude Mark’s cause of death.
Mark’s Uncle Don Craigie has never stopped campaigning for justice.
“For 35 and a half years, more than half of my lifetime, I have been seeking answers into what happened to our boy, because nothing adds up,” Mr Craigie said.
Mark Anthony Haines' body was found on train tracks outside of Tamworth in 1988.
A full review of investigative records concluded in February 2022, with a fresh coronial inquest into Mark’s death set to finish in April 2024.
For Greens MP and spokesperson for First Nations Justice, Sue Higginson, this second inquiry has everyone at the doorstep of justice.
“We saw a failure earlier on in terms of the investigation and coming to the truth. But what we’re seeing now is a collaborative effort [and] it feels very much like we are on a significant doorstep now of justice,” Ms Higginson stated.
“A fresh coronial inquest and the investment of New South Wales Police of $1 million are very significant steps.”
Mr Craigie remembers Mark as a lovely young man, who was quiet and had many friends.
He hopes the increased reward encourages witnesses to finally come forward.
“As this reward has been increased to $1 million, I encourage anyone and everyone who has information relating to Mark’s death, no matter how small you may think it is, to come forward now. It could be the one piece of the puzzle that shows what happened to Mark. We have a nine-month window before the Coronial Inquest begins,” he said.
“I have been on this journey to find the truth about what happened to Mark for a long time, and I can feel we are getting very close. I say to everyone, we will find the truth, and for anyone out there who knows something, now is the time to come forward.”
Acting Oxley Police District Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Jason Darcy, said that police are committed to finding answers.
“Mark’s family deserves closure and peace having dealt with uncertainty of what happened three decades ago,” he said.
If you or someone you know has information regarding Mark’s death, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.