Thursday 25 August 2022 4:11am –
Homicide Squad detectives are today announcing a $1M reward for information in relation to the death of Michele Brown, whose body was found behind a gun shop in Frankston in 1992.
About 12pm on Sunday, 1 March, 1992, 25-year-old Michele was driven by a friend from her home in Baxter to another friend’s house in Frankston, where she stayed until about 7pm.
Michele and a female friend walked to the Food Plus store on Frankston-Dandenong Road, which took them about 5 minutes.
Michele borrowed 30 cents from her friend and made a call to her brother, asking for her mother to pick her up from the Frankston railway station.
Her friend left her at Food Plus and was given a lift home by friends passing by.
Michele was seen walking away from the Food Plus store between 7 and 7.15pm, however it’s not known if or how she travelled to Frankston railway station, which was just under 4km away.
A taxi driver saw a woman whom he believed to be Michele near the phone boxes at the Frankston railway station between 8 and 9pm.
Michele’s mother arrived at the Frankston railway station shortly after 8pm but could not locate her daughter.
She then drove around looking Michele for a while before returning home. It was unusual for Michele not to be waiting after making arrangements to be picked up.
A witness, who resided near Playne Street in Frankston, only a few hundred metres south of the station, reported hearing two separate screams shortly after 9pm.
It wasn’t uncommon for Michele’s parents not to see her for a few days and as a result, she was not reported missing by her mother until 13 March, 1992.
The following day, a staff member who worked at Miall’s Gun Shop on Playne Street in Frankston discovered Michele’s body in an old shed at the rear of the premises, which was about 400m south of the railway station.
The shed was accessible from the railway line and surrounded by blackberry bushes.
Michele’s body was in a state of severe decomposition and it was determined that she was murdered by a person or persons unknown.
Victoria Police is today announcing a $1M reward for information in relation to those responsible for Michele’s death.
A reward of up to $1M 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 Michele Brown.
The Director of Public Prosecutions will 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.
Police are hoping the reward will encourage someone to come forward with information.
Detectives are especially keen to speak to anyone who saw a female fitting Michele’s description in or around the public telephone box on at the Frankston Railway Station between 8-9pm on Sunday, 1 March 1992.
Investigators would also like to speak to anyone who noticed any suspicious or unusual activity in the area around Playne Street, Frankston on that night, or any activity at the rear of the gun shop or in the vacant block behind it.
Police have also released a number of images of Michele and the area where her body was located as part of this renewed appeal.
Detectives are hopeful that 30 years after Michele’s death, someone will be able to provide information about who was responsible for her murder and why.
Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Dean Thomas, Homicide Squad:
“Michele’s family have lived the past 30 years not knowing what happened to their beloved daughter and sister.
“Despite a significant investigation over that time, Homicide Squad detectives are still searching for answers on their behalf.
“Frankston was very much a close-knit community in the early 1990s where a lot of people knew each other and what was going on locally.
“I have no doubt that despite three decades passing, there are still people out there with information as to who was responsible for Michele’s death and why.
“Ultimately, this is not only about holding those responsible to account but also providing Michele’s family with answers and the opportunity for closure.
“Hopefully this reward announcement is the impetus for someone to come forward with information, even after all this time, and help police progress the case.”