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Friday, June 21, 2024

Queensland and NSW Police announce $1m reward to solve 2002 murders

Detectives from Queensland and NSW are hoping a $1 million reward will help solve the 2002 suspected murder of Currumbin Beach man, Iain Stewart Hogg, in northern NSW and the murder of Frederick Hugh Rosson four days later at Mount Nathan.

Mr Hogg was reported missing on March 12, 2002, by his elderly mother after he failed to attend his workplace as a manager of a liquor store at Burleigh the day before. His red 1992 Toyota Celica coupe with Queensland registration 861 GBW was also reported missing at the time.

He was last seen driving the red Celica into his apartment at Teemangum Street at Currumbin Beach in the late afternoon of March 10, 2002. Investigators were able to establish that 45-year-old Mr Hogg spoke to his mother via telephone at 6pm that evening and he has not been located since.

Iain Hogg is believed to have been killed and placed in the Tweed River in 2002.

During subsequent investigations witnesses told police that between 1am and 3am (NSW time) on Monday March 11, 2002, Mr Hogg’s Celica was seen to drive and park in a carpark area near the Volunteer Marine Rescue Boat pontoon on the northern bank of Tweed River in Coral Street, Tweed Heads.

Witnesses overlooking the Coral Street area at that time saw a number of people around the vehicle, then a flash followed by a loud bang, believed to be from the discharging of a firearm, Queensland Police said in a statement today.

“This location is immediately adjacent to the Tweed River mouth northern rock wall, and it is believed that Mr Hogg’s body was placed into the river at this time,” Police said.

“On March 14, 2002, four days after the last known sighting of Mr Hogg, Frederick Hugh Rosson aka Charles ‘Slim’ Johnson, 67, was shot and murdered at his Pademelon Pass residence at Mt Nathan, during which a 9mm CZ handgun and ammunition was stolen.”

“Investigators believe Mr Rosson was in the process of selling this handgun, which had been advertised via the Trading Post classifieds and was contacted by a man from the Coolangatta/Tweed Heads area by telephone at that time inquiring about the purchase of this firearm.”

Frederick Hugh ROSSON aka Charles ‘Slim’ JOHNSON, 67 years was shot and murdered at his Pademelon Pass residence at Mt Nathan.

Witnesses have told police they saw two men driving a red Celica, which visited Mr Rosson at the time of his murder.

On  March 20, 2002, Mr Hogg’s red Celica vehicle (pictured, below) was located by police abandoned in 15th Avenue, Palm Beach, with subsequent investigations forensically linking the vehicle to both offences.

Investigators believe both men are not involved in any criminal activity and have no know association to each other, Police said.

To date, more than 150 witness statements have been taken, and 600 inquiries conducted, with police speaking to people all over Australia about the two cases.

With active investigations underway, detectives from Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and Homicide Investigation Unit were approved to increase the reward on offer to $500,000 with NSW Police also increasing its reward  by the same amount.

Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett from Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch said police hoped the increase to $1 million dollars would be the catalyst for a breakthrough in the case.

“It is never too late to come forward. Relationships and loyalties change, people who were once scared may no longer be, and we would encourage these persons to come forward,” he said.

“Police would like to directly appeal to the LGBTIQ+ community or anyone who knew Mr Hogg leading up to his death in March 2002 as he was a very private person and any personal information may assist with this matter.

“It may be 21 years ago, but for the families of Mr Hogg and Mr Rosson I am sure it is still very painful for them, and to find those responsible in some way could bring some small measure of relief to them.

“All appropriate combined resources from Queensland Police and the New South Wales Police Force will continue to be used by investigators in an attempt to solve these murders and bring the offenders responsible to justice. Even the smallest piece of information may be the link that helps us solved this heinous crime,” said Acting Inspector Bennett.

The $500,000 Queensland Government Reward is for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this murder. The Government reward further offers an opportunity for indemnity against prosecution for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the murder, who first gives such information.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting or call 131 444.

Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.

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