The NSW Government has increased the reward to $1 million for information over the suspicious disappearance and suspected murder of William Roach nearly three decades ago.
William “Bill” Roach was 25 when he was last seen on Barney Street, Armidale, on Friday 31 December 1993 and was reported missing in early 1994.
Strike Force Annan was established in 2004 to examine the circumstances surrounding Mr Roach’s disappearance and a reward of $50,000 was originally offered for information.
In 2010, a coronial inquest was conducted and found that it was likely Mr Roach had died but the cause of death was undetermined. His body has never been located.
This was despite extensive investigations over the years, including the execution of a crime scene warrant at a property on the outskirts of Armidale in February 2016. The reward was increased to $100,000 at this time.
To assist with ongoing inquiries, the NSW Government announced the reward for information has been increased to $1 million from today (Tuesday 23 February 2021).
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said he hopes the increased reward will help encourage anyone with information to come forward and assist Strike Force Annan.
“The pain of not knowing what has happened to a loved one is unimaginable, and we hope that the NSW Government’s $1 million reward could be the push that helps police find answers for the Roach family,” said Minister Elliott.
“Any information, no matter how small, could be the piece police need to solve this case.”
New England Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Steve Laksa, said that Mr Roach’s family deserve answers.
“William’s family is living with the pain of not knowing where he is, or if any harm has come his way, and they have waited long enough for answers,” said Detective Superintendent Laksa.
“We believe there are people in the community who have vital information about William’s disappearance and what happened to him on the last day he was seen alive.”
“We are keen to speak with anyone who has information about his whereabouts, even a small piece of information about William’s movements could make a big difference to this investigation.”
At the time of his disappearance, William was described as being of Caucasian appearance, 180cm tall, of thin build, with brown wavy hair, and brown eyes.
When he was last seen, it is believed he was wearing blue jeans, work boots, and a red flannelette shirt with the sleeves buttoned up.
As the investigation continues, William’s sister, Kim Roach, is hopeful for answers.
“It has been 27 years since we have heard from Bill and we just want to know what happened to him,” said Kim.
‘We are so grateful for a reward of this magnitude to be offered to assist investigators finally solve this case and find out what happened all those years ago.”
The $1,000,000 reward is available for information leading to the discovery of William Roach’s whereabouts or disclosing the circumstances of his disappearance. The investigation is also the subject of a new podcast, now available online.
Anyone with information about Mr Roach’s disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is treated in strict confidence. The community is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
ABOUT THE ‘WILLIAM ALLAN ROACH’ PODCAST: Adam Shand reports on the mystery of Bill Roach who disappeared from the Armidale area of NSW around New Year’s Eve 1993. Police suspect foul play and have raised the reward for information to $1 million. Detective Senior Constable Mark Symons delves into Roach’s cohort of friends and turns up new evidence that takes the case in a fresh direction after three decades.
Episode One. Deep Water.
Bill Roach’s body has never been found despite information that he was killed on a remote farm. His remains were allegedly hidden in a deep waterhole before finally being burnt and buried at another location. Symons goes right back to Roach’s childhood to understand his final days.
Episode Two. A Psychedelic Adventure.
Eight weeks before his disappearance, Bill Roach attended a counterculture festival where he claimed he had been cursed by witches. Some friends believe he left Armidale in search of answers from traditional healers and perished in the bush. However, Symons finds a more earthly motive for Roach’s demise, a possible involvement in the drug trade.
All episodes of ‘William Allan Roach’ are now available for streaming on Listnr https://bit.ly/37ABLSI