The grieving family of a “young, joyous” Newcastle teenager who went missing nearly three decades ago is hoping $1 million will prompt someone to finally reveal her fate.
NSW Police on Wednesday increased the reward for information about the suspected murder of 16-year-old Gordana Kotevski, who was last seen being forced into a car on Powell Street, Charlestown, about 9pm on November 24, 1994.
On International Missing Children’s Day, Gordana’s aunt, Julie Talevski, asked people to come forward with any relevant information about her niece.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t think about the what-ifs,” she said.
“Gordana was young, joyous, innocent, and then she was gone.
“There’s no closure, you’re always thinking, ‘What happened? Where is she?’
“Please, if you know something, say something.
“We need to find out what happened to our Gordana.”
A coronial inquest in 2003 determined Gordana was dead, most likely as a result of foul play.
In April 2019, detectives established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine the investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of Gordana, along with two other missing Lake Macquarie teens, Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson.
Lake Macquarie Police District Commander Steve Kentwell hopes the increased reward will prompt someone to come forward.
“Gordana was just a teenager when she disappeared almost 28 years ago, unable to live out her life as a result of what we strongly believe is foul play,” Superintendent Kentwell said.
“There are people out there – perhaps not just in the Lake Macquarie community but elsewhere in the Hunter, around the state and even the country — who have vital information.”
“We hope this reward could spark some people’s memories from 1994, anything which could assist investigators. Please come forward.”