News

Police end search for killer

Leanne Holland
Leanne Holland

POLICE have wrapped up a two-year investigation into the death of Goodna schoolgirl Leanne Holland with no sign yet as to whether they will charge another suspect with her murder.

Leanne was 12 years old when her viciously mutilated and tortured body was found near Redbank Plains Rd in 1991.

It was possible she was also sexually interfered with and tortured with a cigarette lighter.

Leanne's elder sister's boyfriend Graham Stafford was convicted of her murder and spent 15 years behind bars but always strenuously denied he killed Leanne.

Leanne lived in Alice St, Goodna, with her father Terry, sister Melissa and Mr Stafford, who was Melissa's boyfriend at the time.

In 1997 the Queensland Court of Appeal re-examined the case after Stafford lodged an application for pardon with the State Governor on the basis of evidence gathered by private detective Graeme Crowley.

His murder conviction was quashed in 2009 and a retrial was ordered, but the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled in March 2010 that it would not proceed.

In May 2010 the investigation was reopened and a cold case review was put in place, starting with a forensic examination of the house Leanne lived in.

Police travelled to the United States to use the latest forensic technology. Since then detectives have spent more than two years examining fresh information and suspects and hope to finally solve the mystery.

A police source told The QT there was no truth to reports that the investigation had led detectives to a new suspect.

Mr Crowley said it was time for both the Holland and Stafford families to be given an answer.

"The police won't tell me anything - the detective in charge of it can't confirm what is happening or who is being charged," Mr Crowley said.

"It's time the police commissioner made a press release so the Holland family and Stafford family can stop sweating on it. It will be good for everyone when they just decide it's time to say Graham Stafford is no longer a suspect or if he was actually responsible.

"It has been two-and-a-half years since they launched the cold case review and I think it will be months before a resolution is reached."

The Queensland Police Service said the outcomes of the investigation were being considered.

Topics:  goodna, leanne holland, murder



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