Playing all cards in hunt for murderers

NEW hope for leads in unsolved murders and missing person cases lies in the hands of inmates at local prisons.

High-profile cases such as those of Sharron Phillips and Julie-Ann Gallon feature on playing cards distributed to Arthur Gorrie and Brisbane Women's Correctional Centres and the Toowoomba Watchhouse on Monday as part of a six-month trial.

The cards aim to jog the memories of prisoners who might have information about the cold cases in the hope of offering closure for families and police.

Sharron Phillips has been missing, suspected murdered, since May 8, 1986. She was last seen at a telephone box near the Wacol railway station after her car ran out of petrol on Ipswich Road. She has not been heard from since and her body has never been located.

Sharron's aunty, Ruth Phillips of Inala, said the family thought it was a great idea. "We've exhausted every avenue available to us since that day," Ms Phillips said.

"It's another avenue that can now be explored."

Ms Phillips said it would be great if new information came from the project. "We think about it every day," she said. "You don't just bring it out and dust it off every now and again. It is a constant. One can only hope this helps the case."

Julie-Ann Gallon disappeared on August 2, 1990, suspected murdered. She was last seen beside her car outside a church at Riverview.

Her keys and clothing were found under the Kholo bridge but she hasn't been heard from since and her body has never been found. Inspector Joe White said to solve any of the 52 cases featured would be fantastic to offer closure to the families.

"One shred of information that leads to a cold case or missing person being solved would be classed as a win," Insp White said.

Police Minister Judy Spence said there were significant rewards for information that led to the arrest and conviction of an offender in relation to these cases. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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