Police are hoping to finally solve a 24-year-old cold case murder investigation into the mystery disappearance of bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.
Police are hoping to finally solve a 24-year-old cold case murder investigation into the mystery disappearance of bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.

Drugs, violence and a Holden: Mystery of missing tradie

Police are hoping to finally solve a 24-year-old cold case murder investigation into the mystery disappearance of bricklayer Gregory Thurlow.

The 27-year-old vanished hours after being assaulted and detectives have long believed he was killed over a drug debt.

Greg was last seen on the night of October 1 - or possibly the early hours of October 2 - in 1996, after leaving a friend's house in Bray Park.

His parents, Jean and James Thurlow, died without knowing what happened to him, with their deaths finally convincing Greg's family he wasn't coming home.

"It was pretty devastating for them at that time," Greg's uncle Ray Thurlow said today.

"They were always of the belief that he was just out there and he was going to show up one day.

"It was when his mother and father died two years apart, the rest of the family were hoping that he would come forward but that never happened.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: John Gass
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell talks to the media about the cold case of Gregory Thurlow. Picture: John Gass

"Please, if you know any information, all we want is closure. We want to know what happened to Greg, (but) more importantly, bring that person to justice if there is some foul play there."

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell from the cold case homicide investigation team said detectives began reviewing Greg's disappearance in March.

"We do believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passage of time, this crime can be solved, offenders can be brought to justice and we can provide some closure to the family and friends of Greg," she said.

She said the young unemployed tradie left his mother's home at Manly West on the morning of October 1, telling family he was going to the Redcliffe area.

He was assaulted that day by "persons known to him".

Det Sen Sgt Kentwell said that evening he went to an address at Longland St, Scarborough and then to a friend's place at Mitze St, Bray Park.

"Greg left this address in the late hours of the 1st of October into the early hours of the 2nd of October 1996 with a male associate," she said.

"This is the last place Greg was seen alive."

Det Sen Sgt Kentwell said Greg was involved in the drug scene on the Redcliffe Peninsula and police want to speak to anyone who knew him or knew of his movements throughout September 1996 and on October 1.

She said they also want to speak to anyone who saw a green BC Holden Commodore that pulled over on Anzac Ave in the Mango Hill area in the early hours of the morning on October 2.

Detectives believe people spotted the car pulled over with two men - one being Greg - outside the vehicle.

Police are using a billboard on Anzac Ave to appeal for information on Greg's disappearance and to jog people's memories.

Investigators will also use targeted Facebook posts to help gather information from the public.

"It is never too late to come forward," she said.

"People who were once scared may no longer be."

A reward of $500,000 is in place for information leading to a conviction.

Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.

Originally published as Drugs, violence and a green Holden: Mystery of missing tradie



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