WA POLICE are offering a $100,000 reward for any information that helps solve the January 5 murder of Melville grandmother Valeria Fermendjin.
It is the earliest WA Police has ever offered a monetary reward for information relating to a homicide investigation and comes just under three months since Mrs Fermendjin was found brutally murdered in her Leach Highway home.
“I can say that this is probably the first time we have gone down this pathway so early in an investigation,” State Crime Assistant Commissioner Michelle Fyfe said.
“We are always looking for investigative strategies that will enhance our opportunities to identify the offender or offenders and we believe the offer of this reward is an incentive that will hopefully get someone to come and speak with us.”
Announcing the reward, Assistant Commissioner Fyfe also revealed a number of items had been stolen from Mrs Fermendjin’s home, including a Russian-made black leather handbag.
“It is embossed on both sides, has a zip top and a metal buckle and we ask anyone who may know its whereabouts to contact Police,” she said.
The revelation seems to confirm Major Crime Squad’s earlier theory that Mrs Fermendjin was killed during a burglary that turned violent.
Assistant Commissioner Fyfe insisted the offer of a reward was not an indication detectives had exhausted all other avenues of investigation.
“Previously we have applied to (State) Government for rewards in cases that are unsolved for long periods of time,” she said.
“In this matter, detectives from Major Crime have a range of investigative opportunities that they continue to pursue, but we believe that a reward will enhance those opportunities and ultimately assist in identifying the offender or offenders of this horrible crime.
“Mrs Fermendjin was brutally murdered in her own home. Someone knows that happened that day. We need them to come forward and speak to us.”
Assistant Commissioner Fyfe also took the opportunity to urge a man who contacted Crime Stoppers on Wednesday, January 13 at 12.15pm to get back in touch with WA Police.
“He provided us with some information relating to activity in the area at the time and we need that information to be clarified,” she said.
“Despite previous public appeals he has yet to come forward.”
Information received from the public will be treated confidentially and callers to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 can remain anonymous if they wish.
Reports can also be made online .