$1M reward for NSW cold case killer

AAP
A $1m reward is being offered in the hope of new leads to solve the 1999 murder of Michelle Bright.
Camera IconA $1m reward is being offered in the hope of new leads to solve the 1999 murder of Michelle Bright.

The mother of NSW teenager Michelle Bright, who was murdered after going to a birthday party 21 years ago, is hoping a million dollar reward will finally help bring her daughter's killer to justice.

Loraine Bright told reporters she was hoping the increased reward announced on Monday would bring new leads for investigators to finally put Michelle's killer in jail.

"Michelle was our much-loved bubbly, adventurous, cheeky daughter, who was only at the beginning of her life when she was so cruelly taken from us," Ms Bright said.

"After 21 years of indescribable pain, we are hoping that someone will come forward and help police put those responsible for taking Michelle's life away behind bars.

Michelle was last seen alive on Saturday 27 February 1999, when a friend dropped her off at Herbert Street, Gulgong, in the NSW central tablelands, after a birthday party.

Three days later, her body was found in long grass by the side of Barneys Reef Road.

In 2000, the NSW government offered a $100,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Michelle's death.

During the 2009 coronial Inquest the coroner recommended the reward be increased to $500,000, which was granted by the NSW government.

Following a review under the Homicide Squad's new processes, the matter is now being re-investigated by detectives from the Unsolved Homicide Unit under Strike Force Mitcham II and the reward has been doubled.

Police Minister David Elliott said it was a shocking crime.

"It is frightening to think a child can't attend a birthday party and return safely to her family," he said.

"Someone must have seen or heard something. If you have any information at all regarding Michelle's death, please contact police. Even the smallest bit of information could help solve this crime. It's never too late," Mr Elliott said.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said Michelle's murder was "a horrific crime that shocked the small town of Gulgong and caused unimaginable grief to her family".

Michelle was sexually assaulted before her death and detectives are re-examining similar incidents of sexual assault on young women in the Gulgong area around that time as well as a full forensic review of evidence.

"A number of vehicles of interest have been identified during the course of this investigation, and anyone who may remember seeing a red XF Falcon wagon in the Gulgong area around the time of Michelle's disappearance, is urged to come forward," Det Supt Doherty said.

Michelle's mother said the could not find peace until the matter was resolved.

"Our family cannot rest until we have the answers that we need to finally see justice served for Michelle."

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