GEORGE Johnson wasted little time at the airport.

Dressed in a striped green jacket, black dress pants and polished shoes, Mr Johnson arrived in Mackay on Friday to continue a decade-long search for his son Peter's body.

Appearing uncomfortable in the tropical sun, Mr Johnson quipped he'd had a nice flight, and hurried off to his hire car to again travel west along the Peak Downs Hwy.

Peter, who worked at Newlands Mine, Glenden, was last seen on April 17, 2003. The then 36-year-old's green Ford ute was found abandoned a kilometre north of Boundary Creek Bridge on the Peak Downs Hwy.

Although initially suspecting Peter may have committed suicide, police now believe he met with foul play.

It's an opinion his father shares.

"When it first happened if I had the means at my disposal I'd have killed them," Mr Johnson said, speaking of the faceless men he believes murdered Peter.

"Now I'd say to them why. "Why and how could you do what you did to him?"

Mr Johnson has travelled from his home in Birregurra, Victoria, to Mackay nearly every year since Peter disappeared.

Ordinarily, Mr Johnson would post flyers with Peter's photo on them along the highway and at hotels between Eton to Moranbah.

But this year is different.

This year Mr Johnson has been given a new lifeline in his search to discover Peter's remains and "give him a proper Christian burial".

"Considering the minister for police has offered a $250,000 reward, we were hoping it might bring a bit of information forward," Mr Johnson said.

This year's flyer details the reward on offer, and the circumstances surrounding Peter's death.

"Surely somebody knows something about what happened to Pete."

Since the reward was announced in late 2012, police have told Mr Johnson and his wife Heather new information about their son's disappearance has emerged.

"We think the reward money might be bringing someone forward," Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson's visit coincided with the beginning of National Missing Person's Week.

Each year more than 35,000 people are reported missing across Australia.

During his journey, Mr Johnson stopped into the Retreat Hotel - one of Peter's favourite watering holes.

"He'd be sad that we're worried," Mr Johnson said.

"But he'd be glad we're coming up ... and we're not letting up until something is finalised."

Peter Johnson with his mother Heather
Peter Johnson with his mother Heather


GEORGE and Heather Johnson have received little information about Peter since he was last seen driving on the Suttor Development Road.

Other than a call from Peter to a family friend expressing concern someone was out to get him in the weeks before he disappeared, the family have little evidence.

In their search to find answers, they have employed the help of psychics and hypnotherapists.

A devout Christian, Mr Johnson said he used to think psychics were a "load of hocus pocus" before Peter's death.

But he said three different people with psychic abilities had told him similar stories, and he hoped police would now be able to use that information to apprehend Peter's killer.

"It blew me away," he said.

Queensland Police describe Peter's disappearance as a cold case, and a spokesman said no one had recently come forth with information.

"It remains an open and ongoing cold case investigation and the reward remains in place," the spokesman said.

Mr Johnson said the officer in charge of Peter's case was on leave, and he was unable to meet with him during his recent journey.

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

George Johnson at the intersection of the Peak Downs Hwy and the Suttor Development Rd where his son was last seen alive.
George Johnson at the intersection of the Peak Downs Hwy and the Suttor Development Rd where his son was last seen alive.


  •  April 16, 2003

PETER is last seen in his Ford Utility on the Suttor Development Rd near Lake Elphinstone (north of Nebo) at 10.40am.

The vehicle was later found 2km from Boundary Creek on the Peak Downs Hwy.

  •  June 2003

A FAMILY friend tells Peter's parents of a phone call during which Peter said: "I'm going to the west if I can keep away from the a***hole who's after me."

  •  2004

PETER'S father, George Johnson, visits psychic Debbie Malone in Sydney, who tells him his son is dead and mentions four men, a red dog and smoke. He later meets with a second psychic, who tells a similar story.

  •  February 2012

THE police minister announces a $250,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the disappearance of Peter James Johnson.

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