Police may be close to solving Donald Mackay murder mystery

POLICE searching a property for the body of murdered anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay believe they are one step closer to solving the 30-year-old mystery.

Since the 43-year-old went missing from Griffith at the peak of the Riverina drug trade in the 70s, various properties have been searched without result.

While no remains had been found by dark on Thursday, homicide detective Michael Willing told reporters in Sydney he was "cautiously hopeful" recent information had finally led them to the right area.

He said a specialist team was searching a lettuce patch at a property at Hay, about 150kms from Griffith.

It is not alleged the property owner has any connection to the murder investigation.

Mr Mackay's high profile disappearance has drawn immense public interest and formed the script for an episode of Underbelly - Tale of Two Cities.

In one scene, Griffith mafia king Robert Trimbole was depicted as trying to find a hit man to take out Mackay.

Underworld figure Mick Gatto later threatened legal action against the production company over a reference to him as a possible hitman.

Mackay disappeared from a hotel in Griffith on the evening of July 15, 1977.

A 1984 coronial inquest concluded that based on the police evidence, he likely died of wilfully inflicted gunshot wounds.

Investigations are continuing under Strike Force Fitr.

A $100,000 reward remains in place for information leading to an arrest.

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