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Reward increased as investigations continue into 1993 death of Cessnock teen Allison Newstead

Saturday, 22 October 2022 04:01:40 AM

The NSW Government, together with the NSW Police Force, has announced the reward for information into the suspicious death of 17-year-old Allison Newstead in the state’s Hunter has been increased to $750,000.

Allison Newstead was last seen by her parents on Wednesday 6 October 1993, when she left their Cessnock home, heading to a café.

She was reported as missing the following day after she failed to return home.

Her body was found by police at an abandoned colliery in Pelton, about 8km south-west of Cessnock, seven days later (Wednesday 13 October 1993).

At the time, extensive inquiries were undertaken by local police to determine the circumstances surrounding Ms Newstead’s death, which is believed to be suspicious.

In 1994, a coronial inquest into the matter was terminated and subsequently referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

A 30-year-old man was then charged with concealing her body and perverting the course of justice, however, in 1997, was acquitted.

Since that time, inquiries into Ms Newstead’s death have been undertaken by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Unsolved Homicide Unit under Strike Force Bain.

In 1998, the NSW Government announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Allison’s death.

Today, that amount has been increased to $750,000.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said it was critical that anyone with information provide it to police.

“It might seem like an insignificant piece of information to you, but even the smallest amount of intel could be the missing piece of the puzzle police need to solve the case,” Mr Toole said.

“Officers have worked tirelessly on this case, and I sincerely hope this reward can deliver some answers and closure to Allison’s loved ones.”

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said it’s hoped the increase will incentivise anyone who may have held onto information since Allison’s death, to come forward.

“Allison’s naked body was found underneath sheets of corrugated iron and physical evidence at the scene suggests that she was likely dragged to that location,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“Investigators do believe there are still people out there – particularly associates of Allison from the time – who have not yet spoken to police and may have useful information.

“That includes multiple persons who we suspect may have been there when Allison died, or who have direct knowledge of the circumstances of her death,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Loretta Newstead, Allison’s mother, said her family’s life changed forever the day she died.

“Not a single day goes by that we don’t think of Allison and wonder if we will ever know what happened to her on the night she was taken from us,” Ms Newstead said.

“We really need somebody to be held accountable for the heartache, grief and anguish we as a family have had to endure for the last 29 years.

“I hope this substantial reward will prompt somebody to come forward with new information and deliver justice for Allison,” Ms Newstead said.

Anyone with information about the death of Allison Newstead 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.