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Reward offered to solve mystery disappearance

Wednesday 20 Nov 2013 10:40a.m.

Reward offered to solve mystery disappearance

By 3 News online staff

A $50,000 reward has been offered for clues about a 27-year-old disappearance still mystifying police.

Luana Deborah Laverne Williams, known by family as Laverne, was last seen at her Munro St home in Tauranga on June 5, 1986. She was reported missing by her partner.

Her disappearance is being treated as a homicide.

The police reward has been prompted following a recent review of the case in which "new information has come to light".

Detective Inspector Mark Loper says he won't be specific about what new information has been uncovered because it will not help the investigation.

"A number of enquiries fell out of the review and as we carried out those enquiries we received information from members of the public which we are now actively pursuing."

The review began about 18 months ago.

The sisters of Ms Williams have released a statement on behalf of the family saying the disappearance has had a "crazy and stressful effect", but they have remained positive.

"Knowing it was never a closed case has helped and we’ve always lived in hope that someone would bring us some answers," the statement says.

They also issued a plea to anyone with information about the disappearance.

"It may be those people now have children of their own. They should ask themselves whether they could put their children in our shoes, to go through what we have been through, and with that thought in mind we hope that they dig deep and find the conscience to do the right thing."

Mr Loper says historic cases pose certain challenges, but time can change people's allegiances and their willingness to talk.

He pointed to the example of Menzies Hallett ,who was jailed for the murder of Rodney Tahu 34 years after the fact, earlier this year.

After the shooting, Hallett confessed to his ex-wife, Susan Sharpe. But the law in 1979 prevented her from giving evidence against her husband. After a law change she was able to testify against him.

The reward will be paid for information which establishes the location of Ms Williams and/or leads to a conviction relating to her disappearance or death.

Anyone with information should call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

3 News

 
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01-08-2014 12:00