WA Police’s Special Crime Squad have appealed for information after identifying several new leads and persons of interest in the 1997 murder of schoolboy Gerard Ross.
Police also ruled out the killer of Daniel Morcombe, Brett Peter Cowan, as a suspect, with Queensland police confirming he was in custody at the time of Gerard’s disappearance.
They are interested in the recovery of a navy blue Yankees baseball cap (pictured below) Gerard was wearing at the time of his disappearance, the only personal item that has yet to be recovered.
Acting Detective Inspector Jon Munday from the Special Crime Squad said the appeal for information followed a review of the investigation in 2014.
“Since then the Special Crime Squad has been working through the review recommendations and opened up new lines of inquiry which police hope will lead to a breakthrough,” Acting Inspector Munday said.
“Several new persons of interest have also been identified.”
Acting Insepctor Munday said there are people in the community who know what happened to Gerard.
“Whilst police have spoken to almost 1,200 witnesses during this investigation we believe there are others with information who have not yet come forward for their own reasons,” he said.
“We ask those people to re-consider their position given the passage of time and potential changes in allegiances and circumstances.
“Ask yourselves ‘what if it was my child, or grandchild?’.
“Think of the Ross family and help them get the answers they deserve.”
A $100,000 reward offered by the State Government in 1998 for information about Gerard’s murder remains in place.
Police have asked anyone with information to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000, or make report online at CrimestoppersWA.com.au.
Gerard was only 11 when he disappeared from Kent Street in Rockingham, on the morning of October 14, 1997.
His body was found two weeks later in a Baldivis pine plantation, near Baldivis and Stakehill Roads, Karnup, 20km south east of Rockingham.
Gerard’s mother Cyrese joined the police call for information.
“Gerard would have turned 31 last November, and has sadly missed out on so much of life,” she said.
“As his brother and sisters grow up and make lives for themselves, Gerard has been denied this opportunity.
“He will never experience the joy in sharing his love, creative talent and sense of humour with his niece or when starting his own family.
“We make this appeal on behalf of Gerard, and ask you to provide any information, no matter how small or insignificant.
“Please come forward as it can make the difference to Gerard’s life and give him the justice he deserves.”