$1 million reward offered as part of 2002 homicide investigations - Strike Force Tornio/Operation Alpha Caviar
Tuesday, 17 October 2023 06:00:27 AM
A combined $1 million reward by the NSW and Qld Governments has been announced as part of an investigation into the murder of Frederick Rosson (aka Charles Johnson), and the suspected murder of Iain Stewart Hogg, in 2002.
On Monday 11 March 2002, Iain Hogg's vehicle, a distinctive red Toyota Celica, was seen in a carpark on Coral Street, Tweed Heads, where witnesses say they saw a flash and a loud bang, believed to be the discharging of a firearm.
It is believed that Mr Hogg was killed, before his body was placed into the Tweed River; however, his body has never been found.
On Thursday 14 March 2002, Frederick Rosson is believed to have met with two men at his property an Mt Nathan, Queensland, who attended to view a firearm Mr Rosson had advertised for sale.
Mr Rosson was killed that day and was found suffering a gunshot wound.
Witnesses reported seeing two unknown men arrive at the property between 11am and 1pm; however, no one has ever been charged with his murder.
At the time, witnesses also saw a red Toyota Celica at the property, believed to have been solen after Mr Hogg's murder.
That vehicle was located abandoned at Palm Beach, Queensland, the following week (Wednesday 20 March 2002).
Detectives from the NSW Police Tweed/Byron Police District and the Queensland Police Homicide Investigation Unit commenced inquiries into the incidents under Strike Force Tornio and Operation Alpha Caviar.
A $1 million reward, comprised of $500,000 from each the NSW and QLD Governments, has now been announced for information leading to an arrest and conviction regarding the murders of Mr Rosson and Mr Hogg.
NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism, Yasmin Catley, said she hoped the reward announcement would encourage those with information to come forward.
“Investigators have never given up on finding answers for the loved ones of Frederick and Iain, and today, the NSW Government reaffirms their ongoing support for the investigation,” Minister Catley said.
“Our hope is that this reward will encourage people to come forward with anything suspicious or untoward they might have heard or seen at the time."
Tweed/Byron Police District Crime Manager, Acting Inspector Chris Elliott, said while much remained unclear, investigators believe that the same people were responsible for each murder.
“We are confident that the car used to access Mr Rosson’s home was Mr Hogg’s Toyota Celica, and we believe the same men were involved in each incident," A/Insp Elliott said.
"The families of these men deserve closure having dealt with the uncertainty of what happened over two decades ago.
"To those in the community who know what happened to Mr Rosson and Mr Hogg, and it's time for you to come forward."
Queensland Police Service Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett from Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch said police hoped the reward to would be the catalyst for a breakthrough in the case.
“It is never too late to come forward. Relationships and loyalties change, people who were once scared may no longer be, and we would encourage these persons to come forward,” Det A/Insp Bennett said.
“Police would like to directly appeal to the LGBTIQ+ community or anyone who knew Mr Hogg leading up to his death in March 2002 as he was a very private person, and any personal information may assist with this matter.
“All appropriate combined resources from Queensland Police and the New South Wales Police Force will continue to be used by investigators in an attempt to solve these murders and bring the offenders responsible to justice.”
Anyone with information that might assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Anyone with information about this incident 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.