Thursday, May 30, 2024

$1million reward offered for murder of 66-year-old Sydney man

A $1 million reward has been offered for information into the 2008 murder of 66-year-old Sydney man, Bernd Lehman.

The NSW Government, together with the NSW Police Force, announced the $1 million reward today.

The body of the German national was found inside a home unit at Alt Street, Ashfield, about 7pm on Valentines Day in 2008.

A post mortem examination revealed he died from severe head injuries.

Strike Force Navala, comprised of detectives from Burwood Police Area Command and the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, was formed to investigate his death; however, no arrests have been made.

Following a Coronial Inquest in 2012, the matter was referred to the Unsolved Homicide Unit.

In 2018, a forensic review of DNA samples obtained during the initial crime scene was conducted by the Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Technology Command.

The samples were then sent to the Genetic Ancestry Laboratory, managed by the University of Canberra and University of Technology Sydney for DNA phenotyping.

The analysis revealed the DNA samples did not belong to Bernd Lehmann, and likely belonged to a man with a multi-racial background including European, Middle Eastern and African.

The DNA phenotyping also indicated the individual most likely did not have blonde hair or blue eyes.

As investigations continue, police are renewing their appeal to the community to come forward with any information that may assist detectives with their inquiries.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said he hopes the increase to a $1 million NSW Government incentive will bring detectives a step closer to solving Mr Lehmann’s brutal murder.

“Mr Lehmann was a well-respected member of the community and had been working as a disability carer prior to his murder,” Mr Elliott said.

“He was due to leave on a trip to visit a critically ill relative in Germany in the days before his body was found,” he said.

“Sadly, he never made it home and we hope the NSW Government’s $1 million reward will assist in identifying those responsible for his death. If you have any information at all, please contact police.”

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said detectives will explore every line of inquiry in hope of finally getting justice for Bernd.

“Strike Force Navala investigators have conducted a thorough review of the all evidence obtained over the past 13 years,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“Detectives are confident that advances in DNA technology will assist in establishing the offender’s identity,” he said.

“We are hoping that someone may come forward with additional information that will help detectives solve Mr Lehmann’s murder.”

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Navala detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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