Detectives from the Missing Person Squad are hopeful that today’s announcement of a $1 million reward will assist in solving the 1995 suspicious disappearance of Footscray woman Shari Davison.
Shari, who was 27 at the time, was reported missing by her employer on 21 February, 1995.
Detectives have been able to trace Shari’s movements and have established that on 17 February she left a strip club in Dandenong about 10.50pm in the company of a female colleague.
The pair travelled to Croydon and remained at a sporting club for a short time before travelling to the Mentone Hotel.
They remained there with two male friends until about 1am.
Shari and one of the men who was her boyfriend at the time, left the hotel and went back to a nearby residence in Hampton, where they stayed until 2am before taking a taxi to Crown Casino.
About 7am Shari’s boyfriend left her on her own at the casino and that was the last time he saw her.
It is believed Shari left the casino about 7.40am and travelled home to Footscray in a taxi.
Police have been able to establish that Shari later left her Footscray home and made two phone calls sometime between 12pm and 2pm from a public phone box at a nearby service station on Ballarat Road, Footscray.
One of the calls was to Shari’s employer confirming she would be at work that evening, however Shari never arrived.
The second call was to her boyfriend, arranging to meet him to collect personal items including her mobile phone charger.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper of the Missing Persons Squad said police believe Shari was murdered and despite an extensive investigation, are still searching for answers.
“It may be 25 years since Shari disappeared, however I would like to strongly reinforce to the community that this is very much an active investigation,” he said.
“There is the possibility that the person or persons responsible for Shari’s death may have spoken to someone about Shari and today’s reward announcement may lead to them finally coming forward with information.
“People’s circumstances can change over the years and someone who may not have wanted to provide information to police previously may now feel ready to do so.
“I hope the increase in reward to $1 million, up from $50,000 offered in June 2012, will encourage someone to come forward and help us shed light on what happened to Shari.”
Det Insp Stamper said the past 25 years had been incredibly difficult for her family.
“It is unimaginable to try and understand what Shari’s family have had to live through over these years,” he said.
“At the time of her death, Shari had a loving family and a young son who misses her very much and still deserves answers.
“I can absolutely assure Shari’s loved ones – along with the person or persons responsible for her death – that detectives from the Missing Person Squad remain committed to this investigation.”
A reward of up to $1 million will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police, for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Shari.
The Director of Public Prosecutions may also consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.
Any payment of a reward will be subject to the applicant signing a deed of confidentiality prior to payment.
Anyone with information about the murder of Shari Davison is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au