The child of a man who police allege is linked to the suspicious death of a woman 26 years ago on the Sunshine Coast has made an extraordinary plea for him to surrender to police.
Meaghan Louise Rose’s body was found at the base of Point Cartwright Cliffs at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast in July 1997.
Her death was originally deemed a suicide until Queensland Homicide Cold Case Detectives re-examined the case this year.
Meaghan’s family and Mr Lees’s family are now calling on the public to help find her former partner, 70-year-old Keith Lees, who has since disappeared after police tried to question him over the death.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Lees after his car was found abandoned at Portland in Victoria on June 26 this year.
Mr Lees provided a false name when spoken to by police later that day in Port Fairy, Victoria.
Further investigations identified that Mr Lees was seen at a Waurn Ponds shopping centre and then leaving a Shepparton Train Station, both on June 27.
He has not been seen since.
Mr Lees’s adult child, Wren Dawnsong, has appealed to their father to turn himself in.
“It’s been more than 20 years now, Meaghan’s family deserve justice. My heart breaks for them daily, justice needs to be done,” they said.
“The best thing anyone can do is to immediately contact the police if they see him, straight away.
“They’ve got to keep an eye out.”
They said their father would most likely have grown facial hair in the six weeks he’s been missing and is likely to have crossed the border into either South Australia or New South Wales.
Police believe Mr Lees could be seeking casual work in the farming and fruiting picking industries in rural and regional areas of Australia.
Meaghan’s older sister, Christine Richards, also issued an impassioned plea urging the public to report any possible sightings, even if you are not certain it is Keith Lees.
“I’m asking the public of Australia, every state and territory, to please keep their eyes open and try to find this man,” Christine Richards
“If there is anyone out there that is helping or harbouring Keith Lees, please think about who you are dealing with,”
“Help us to bring justice for Meaghan after all this time, please help us let her rest in peace.”
Detectives are appealing to Keith Lees to come forward, and to the public to come forward if they have information regarding his whereabouts.
Anyone who sees him is asked to not approach him and immediately call triple-0 (000). For non-urgent information, please contact Crimestoppers.
A $500,000 reward remains active for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Meaghan’s murder.
The government reward further offers an opportunity for indemnity against prosecution for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the murder, who first gives such information.