The NSW Government has announced a reward of $200,000 for information leading to the recovery of the remains of Griffith businessman Donald Mackay.
Mr Mackay, 43, went missing from the car park of a hotel in Kooyoo Street, Griffith, on the evening of 15 July, 1977. Blood and bullet cartridges were located near Mr Mackay’s locked van.
Extensive police investigations and a 1984 coronial inquest concluded that Mr Mackay died of wilfully inflicted gunshot wounds. It’s believed he was murdered on the same day he disappeared.
Mr Mackay’s body has never been found. “In the decades since Mr Mackay’s disappearance, police have investigated many tip-offs about the location of his remains, to no avail,” Griffith Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan, said.
“We are confident that someone knows what happened to Mr Mackay’s body and, in what we believe may be a last-ditch effort to solve this matter, we are appealing for them to come forward,” Det Supt Rowan said. “If people wish, they can give us the information anonymously.”
Det Supt Rowan described the murder of Donald Mackay, an anti-drugs campaigner and respected family man, as a “travesty”.
“This is only compounded by the fact we don’t know what happened to his body,” Det Supt Rowan said. “It has left a family forever wondering, and a community stained by events that occurred before many of its residents were born.”
Police are also appealing for information that may assist the ongoing murder investigation by State Crime Command’s Unsolved Homicide Team.
Although a man served jail time in Victoria for conspiring to murder Mr Mackay, and a Royal Commission named six other men who may have ordered the killing, no-one has ever been charged with his murder.
“We would very much like to provide some closure to Donald Mackay’s family, and want to hear from anyone with previously undisclosed details about those events 35 years ago,” Detective Chief Inspector John Lehmann of the Unsolved Homicide Team said.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, said it was hoped the passage of time would encourage someone with information to come forward.
“Someone out there knows where Mr Mackay’s remains are, and that is information that would provide a grieving family some closure.
“This family has lived for 35 years not knowing what happened to their loved one. At the very least, they deserve to know his final resting place,” Minister Gallacher concluded.
Anyone with information that may assist police is urged to contact Griffith Local Area Command on 02 6969 4310 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The reward of up to $200,000 is payable for information that leads to the recovery of Donald Mackay’s remains.