Homicide detectives are intensifying the investigation into the suspected murder of Francis Foley, who was last seen December 23, 2008.
Homicide detectives are intensifying the investigation into the suspected murder of Francis Foley, who was last seen December 23, 2008. Supplied

Man not found in 21 months

HOMICIDE detectives have begun a renewed search of dams and bushland at the Gemfields to solve the 21-month-old case of suspected murder victim Francis “Frank” Foley.

Mr Foley was last seen alive shopping in Emerald before lunch time on December 23, 2008, and later that day at the Rubyvale Post Office.

On the night of December 24, gunshots were heard in the vicinity of the then 62-year-old's billy boulder cabin at Reward.

Police found blood and an exploded gas bottle at the site.

“Frank's bank accounts haven't been touched since, and there's been no attempt to contact relatives,” said State Crime Operations Command Homicide Investigation Unit Inspector Glen Farmer.

“His pride and joy, an older model Mercedes, is still there and from talking to a number of people, Frank wasn't known to have walked great distances.

“Frank had lived on the Gemfields for some three years, and was well known and well respected,” Inspector Farmer said.

“He was a bit of a handyman, always willing to assist other people with small jobs and helping them out.

“He was a quiet fellow who didn't have any known enemies.”

Inspector Farmer said despite intensive investigations in conjunction with Rockhampton CIB detectives, including an earlier search of a dam at Washpool, police still had no suspects or murder weapon.

Yesterday, posters appealing for information were placed at Emerald and the Gemfields.

“We hold grave concerns for Frank because there has been some information that has come forward in our inquiries to date, that on December 24, people heard gunshots in and around the area,” Inspector Farmer said.

“As part of our scientific examination, there is evidence a weapon has been discharged.

“We're confident someone out there knows something. Someone must have heard or seen something.

“It is a remote location, an ideal location for people seeking their fortune.”

Mr Foley was described by his sister, Maureen Allen, as a loner who never put down roots for long. But he was also the man who would give his last $20 to a stranger in need.

Anyone with information is urged to ring Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800333000 or the Emerald CIB on 49838124.

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