Marko Jekic vanished in 1989 and police suspect he was murdered.
Marko Jekic vanished in 1989 and police suspect he was murdered.

Reward on offer for one of Qld's biggest cold cases

POLICE are hoping a major reward could crack the 30-year-old murder mystery of a Cairns man who vanished with a briefcase full of cash.

Marko Jekic, also known as Mike Jekic, was 44 when he vanished while conducting business deals in El Arish, Ingham, Townsville and Bowen on April 1, 1989, and police strongly believe he met with foul play.

He had left Cairns in possession of $125,000 in cash and last spoke to his partner on the phone about 6pm that night.

Marko Jekic, who has been missing since 1989, is believed to have been murdered south of Innisfail.
Marko Jekic, who has been missing since 1989, is believed to have been murdered south of Innisfail.

The Weekend Post can reveal a $250,000 reward has now been offered in a bid to track down the Yugoslavian immigrant's killer.

Tully police detective Sergeant Steve Watts said they had reopened the cold case, codenamed Operation Papa Glimmer, and believed someone in the community had information which could solve it.

Police also released new images of the vehicle Mr Jekic was travelling in the day he disappeared and his camera which he was carrying with him and later found in the possession of a "person of interest".

"There is every suggestion that during one of those business transactions he was murdered," Sgt Watts said.

"We believe that a person we have already spoken to may hold the key and be able to provide information to solve the case."

He said there may have previously been fears of retribution for witnesses which had prevented them coming forward, but given the time that had passed this had to no longer be a concern.

Mr Jekic's de facto partner still lived in Cairns and Sgt Watts said police wanted to be able to bring closure to her and his other family and friends.

The Toyota LandCruiser belonging to Cairns man Marko Jekic.
The Toyota LandCruiser belonging to Cairns man Marko Jekic.

He said Mr Jekic's disappearance came three days before Category 3 Cyclone Ava crossed the coast between Townsville and Bowen, information which could assist with people's memories.

Far North police detective Inspector Sonia Smith said offering a reward showed how serious police were in closing the case.

"I'd like to think these rewards are an incentive for others to come forward in any of these type of cases," she said.

This case was among nine Far North matters where rewards had been offered, which amounted to $2.05 million.

Smithfield State High School students watch on after a serious fire at the school in 1998.
Smithfield State High School students watch on after a serious fire at the school in 1998.

They included the suspected arson of several buildings at Smithfield State High School in 1998 which caused almost $1.3 million damage.

Former principal Larry Gallagher described the incident as "absolutely horrible".

"I lived in Clifton Beach at the time and driving back to school I could see the redness in the sky," he said.

"There's no way in the world I could ever forget it."

 

REWARDS STILL ON OFFER

Attempted Murder of Cleis Norbury

$250,000 reward

Westcourt, Cairns

About 3am on Sunday, October 6, 1996, 18-year-old Cleis Norbury was found unconscious in a lane off Mulgrave Road, Westcourt. She had been the victim of a vicious and sustained attack, receiving severe head injuries consistent with having been repeatedly punched and kicked.

Cleis Norbury was severely bashed 20 years ago with no one charged for the attempted murder. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Cleis Norbury was severely bashed 20 years ago with no one charged for the attempted murder. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

Abduction and sexual assault of a two-year-old infant

$250,000 reward

Yarrabah

About 3am on Saturday August 17, 2002, a 23-month-old female infant was abducted from a residence at Stanley Street, Yarrabah where she was sleeping. The child was taken by foot about 300m along a dirt track at the rear of Stanley Street. Witnesses observed an unidentified man with the child in his hands.

Murder of William Paul and Grayuyda Maria Clarke

$250,000 reward

Julatten

Two bodies believed to be William Paul Clarke and Grayuyda Maria Clarke were found on May 24, 1981, in their burned out residence on Pinnacle Road, Julatten. Both had been shot with a shotgun.

Howard Hobson was murdered in 2004.
Howard Hobson was murdered in 2004.

Murder of Howard Hobson

$250,000 reward

Cairns CBD

At 1.30am on Tuesday, January 20, 2004, Howard Hobson was found unconscious and bleeding on a footpath in Wharf Street, Cairns. He had suffered a severe wound to the head and died later that morning in Cairns Hospital.

Death of Angela Maree Mealing

$250,000 reward

Behana Creek

The last known sighting of Angela Maree Mealing was on April 1, 2000, in Cairns. On May 15, 2000, her decomposed remains were found at Behana Creek, near Cairns. No conclusive evidence exists explaining her death.

Murder of Donna Louise Steele

$250,000 reward

Cooktown

Donna Louise Steele's body was located at Leggett's Crossing, a branch of the Endeavour River, Cooktown at 5.30am on August 6, 2017. Matthew Ross White, of Mooroobool, has been charged with her murder.

Angela Maree Mealing went missing on April 1, 2000 and her remains were found at Behana Creek over a month later.
Angela Maree Mealing went missing on April 1, 2000 and her remains were found at Behana Creek over a month later.

Murder of unidentified baby

$250,000 reward

Mooroobool, Cairns

Around 8.40am on May 4, 1996, the upper torso of a newborn male baby was discovered on the driveway of a residence in Hayward Street, Mooroobool, a suburb of Cairns.
The probable cause of death as drowning. Maria Lena Raymond was acquitted of manslaughter and failing to properly dispose of human remains over the death last year, however at this stage the reward remains open.

Arson, Smithfield State High School

$50,000 reward

Smithfield, Cairns

In the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, October 28, 1998, unknown arsonists entered the grounds of the Smithfield State High School and set fire to the computer wing of the school, causing nearly $1.3 million in damage.

Murder of Marko Jekic

$250,000 reward

On April 1, 1989, Mark Jekic departed Cairns in his Toyota LandCruiser 4WD in possession of $125,000 in cash. He was last spoken to about 6pm on the same date.
Evidence at hand suggests Mark Jekic was then murdered by person/s unknown shortly thereafter.

Anyone with information can contact Policelink on 131 444 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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