Dad’s solo African mission to hunt daughter’s killer
A GRIEVING Melbourne father is posting a reward and has embarked on a dangerous solo mission to Africa, in a desperate bid to hunt down his daughter's killer.
Paul Warren, whose 20-year-old daughter, Elly Rose, was found dead behind a toilet block in Tofo, Mozambique nearly three years ago, says he will not rest until he finds her murderer.
"I will keep searching, however long it takes," he said.
Mr Warren, 58, is now in the African beach town where Elly died in the early hours of November 9, 2016, offering a $15,000 reward for information which may lead to an arrest.
Frustrated by what he says is inaction by Australian Federal Police and Mozambique authorities in investigating Elly's death, Mr Warren told the Sunday Herald Sun he felt he had no choice but to track down her killer on his own.
He said the family had been "left in the dark", and given little information about the progress, or lack thereof, of the investigation into Elly's death.
"We're fed up, we've had enough of it. I'm posting a reward because I think it's the only way we can find Elly's killer and get justice for Elly," Mr Warren said. "I would say to any Australian family which finds itself in this position, that you need to take control from the start and take matters into your own hands if you want justice. I'm hoping the money on offer will generate interest and new information on who murdered my daughter, Elly Rose."
He said he planned to make an announcement in the busy Tofo marketplace on market day, to encourage villagers with information to come forward.
This is the second time Mr Warren has been to Africa looking for clues, but the first time he has offered a reward.
In his first visit to Tofo a year ago the retired engineer said he gained valuable information which led him to believe Elly's body had been moved and the crime scene tampered with.
Elly, who had been volunteering on a marine conservation project, was found facedown in the sand, with her underpants around her knees.
Multiple forensic examinations revealed the fit and healthy young woman died from asphyxia, after inhaling sand into her lower airways, and had no drugs in her system.
Abrasions were found on her neck, and also bruising on her mouth and in the muscles on the left-hand side of her neck, but there were no clear signs of a struggle or attack, and no tests for semen were carried out.
Mr Warren, who wants a coronial inquest into Elly's death, has now commissioned an independent review of the forensic evidence.
The Victorian Coroner's Court said its investigation was ongoing, but an inquest had not been scheduled.
There have been reports of assaults in the picturesque beach town of Tofo, and a UK woman has previously contacted the Sunday Herald Sun to tell of a violent attack on her by a drunk Tofo policeman, near where Elly's lifeless body was found.
Scottish mum of two Sarah Hayrikyan said the policeman followed her from a bar in the early hours of the morning, grabbed her, poked a baton into her back, twisted her arm and threatened to rape and kill her.
Fortunately she managed to break free and get help.
And in a document, viewed by Sunday Herald Sun, one of the first people to see Elly dead is reported as saying her mouth appeared "packed with sand", and that Tofo police, on arrival, "bumbled through the scene, essentially removing all of the evidence which was there".
Mr Warren has scheduled a meeting with the Tofo police chief and will ask to see evidence and reports relating to Elly's death.
He told the Sunday Herald Sun he knew his mission was risky and asking questions of Mozambique police might not go down well, but he felt compelled to do all he could to bring his daughter's killer to justice and would spend the rest of his life trying to do that if required.
"I will never stop; I will not rest until I get justice for my daughter," Mr Warren said.
The Australian Federal Police told the Sunday Herald Sun it was continuing to liaise with Mozambique authorities on the case and had offered to assist them with the investigation.