The NSW Government, together with the NSW Police Force, has announced the reward for information into the suspected murder of Lake Macquarie teenager Gordana Kotevski has been increased to $1 million.
Gordana Kotevski, aged 16, was last seen being forced into a vehicle on Powell Street, Charlestown, while walking from Charlestown Square Shopping Centre to her aunt’s home on the same road about 9pm on Thursday 24 November 1994.
Despite extensive investigations at the time, and over the years, Gordana has not been located.
In a Coronial Inquest into Gordana’s disappearance in 2003, then State Coroner, Mr John Abernethy, found that Gordana Kotevski was deceased, most likely as a result of foul play.
In April 2019, Lake Macquarie detectives established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine the investigation into the unsolved disappearance and suspected murder of Gordana, along with two other missing Lake Macquarie teens – Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson.
To assist ongoing investigations, the NSW Government and the NSW Police Force announced the reward has now been increased to $1 million.
The NSW Government reward is on offer for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for Gordana’s disappearance.
Lake Macquarie Police District Commander, Superintendent Steve Kentwell, says it’s hoped this reward will encourage those who have not spoken up to come forward.
“Gordana was just a teenager when she disappeared almost 28 years ago – unable to live out her life as a result of what we strongly believe is foul play.
“There are people out there – perhaps not just in the Lake Macquarie community, but elsewhere in the Hunter, around the state and even the country – who have vital information which could help Strike Force Arapaima detectives.
“We have a dedicated team of detectives continuing to re-examine this investigation, and we hope this reward could spark some people’s memories from 1994, anything which could assist investigators – please come forward.” Supt Kentwell said.
Gordana’s aunt, Julie Talevski, is also encouraging members of the public to take the time to read and hear about Gordana’s story as part of International Missing Children’s Day.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t think about the ‘what if’s’ of life – Gordana was young, joyous, innocent, and then she was gone.
“There’s no closure, you’re always thinking what happened… where is she.
“Please, if you know something – say something. We need to find out what happened to our Gordana.”
Anyone with information about Gordana Kotevski’s disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Information is treated in strict confidence. The community is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
International Missing Children's Day (IMCD), 25 May, is a day where people around the world commemorate the missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime, and continue efforts to find those who are still missing. The symbol for IMCD is the forget-me-not flower.
For more information on the campaign, and to watch Gordana’s story, visit www.missingpersons.gov.au/about/national-events/international-missing-childrens-day.
Anyone with information about Strike Force Arapaima is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 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.