NSW Police have arrested a 53-year-old man over the 1999 murder of Gulgong teenager, Michelle Bright.
Detectives made the arrest near Mudgee around 9.30pm last night, charging Craig Henry Rumsby with the murder, two counts of inflict actual bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse with victim and attempt choke/strangle with intent to commit indictable offence.
A Channel Nine reporter was at the police station following Rumsby’s arrest and asked him if he had killed Michelle.
“No,” he replied.
When asked if he would like to say anything to her family, he responded, “I’ve known her mum for ages.”
Michelle Bright, then aged 17, was last seen alive on Saturday 27 February 1999, when a friend dropped her off at Herbert Street, Gulgong, after a birthday party.
Three days later, her body was located in long grass at 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 into her suspected murder, the Coroner recommended the reward be increased to $500,000 – the highest at the time – which was granted by the NSW Government.
Following a review under the NSW Police Homicide Squad’s new processes, detectives from the Unsolved Homicide Unit commenced inquiries under Strike Force Mitcham II.
To assist with their inquiries, the NSW Government increased the reward for information to $1 million on Monday.
Rumsby was refused bail to appear at Mudgee Local Court today.