Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a camper who vanished on a trip with two friends in 2013 – as police offer $250,000 reward to find him
- Jason John Vance, 41, disappeared in a Queensland forest on October 24, 2013
- An inquest in 2017 determined he was dead but circumstances still unknown
- Police believe he was murdered by drug trade figures he was mixed up with
- However, he could have just walked into the forest high on drugs and got lost
- His sister Rebecca hoped the reward would finally solve the family mystery
Police are offering $250,000 to help find a missing man who walked into a forest six years ago and was never seen again.
Jason John Vance, 41, was camping with two friends when he wandered into the Barakula State Forest near Chinchilla, 250km west of Brisbane, on October 24, 2013.
A coronial inquest in 2017 determined that Mr Vance was dead, but the circumstances are still being investigated by police.
Jason John Vance, 41, was camping with two friends when he walked into the Barakula State Forest near Chinchilla on October 24, 2013
Mr Vance’s family spent years lobbying Queensland Police to offer a reward and finally got their wish weeks after the anniversary of his disappearance.
His sister Rebecca Vance said they had waited a long time and hoped new information would help solve the disappearance of her ‘very missed brother’.
‘This is a huge accomplishment for my dad who has lobbied for a long time, luckily the case fell into the hands of someone who listened. For that alone we are forever grateful,’ she said.
Ms Vance said she didn’t even know for sure what day he really disappeared, and begged for someone to give her some closure.
‘Someone out there knows exactly what happened to you,’ she said.
‘The exact reason you aren’t here to see your children, meet your grandson or simply be able to speak to the rest of your family.
His sister Rebecca Vance said they had waited a long time and hoped new information would help solve the disappearance of her ‘very missed brother’
‘I have faith that this will all change one day and we will have you home to lay to rest. Saying I love and miss you doesn’t feel enough some days but it’s all that I can say my brother.
‘I still love and miss you Jason, always have and always will.’
Investigators believe Mr Vance’s disappearance could be linked to drug syndicates, with a report to the coroner speculating that he upset bikie gangs.
They have identified people the drug underworld in Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Dalby that he may have been linked to.
There has been no activity on Mr Vance’s bank account, telephone, and medical records, the inquest heard.
A coronial inquest in 2017 determined that the Rockingham man was dead, but the circumstances are still being investigated by police
Deputy Queensland Coroner John Lock didn’t rule out the possibility Mr Vance died in an accident, such as walking unprepared into a forest at night while high on drugs.
Police made an extensive land and air search of the Barakula State Forest at the time of his disappearance but found no trace of him.
‘Someone in the community knows something about Jason’s disappearance,’ Detective Inspector Mat Kelly said on Tuesday.
‘I urge anyone with any information, no matter how small, to contact police.
‘We know Jason associated with various persons in the Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Dalby areas, so we are appealing to the community across these areas.’