Brian and Mark Jones, brothers of Tony who disappeared 36 years ago, are still seeking answers.
Brian and Mark Jones, brothers of Tony who disappeared 36 years ago, are still seeking answers.

Who killed my brother?

TONY Jones called his family from a phone box in Townsville 36 years ago. They never heard from him again.

During the evening phone call on November 3, 1982 Tony, 20, told his mother and girlfriend he planned to hitchhike to Mount Isa to meet his brother Tim.

Tony Jones was hitchhiking from Townsville to Mt Isa on November 3, 1983.
Tony Jones was hitchhiking from Townsville to Mt Isa on November 3, 1983.

Tim had lost his wallet and their mother had just put $150 into Tony's account.

What happened after this phone call remains a mystery.

And now, 36 years, two inquests and numerous police investigations later, his brother Mark says his family believes they know who is responsible.

"We've got no doubt," Mark Jones said."For the first 30 years we never so much as heard the word 'suspect'. Now it seems we know exactly who murdered my brother."

Multiple persons of interest have been put up over the years in regard to Tony's disappearance and suspected murder, including convicted killer Andy Albury.

Prisoner Michael Laundess and former police officer Merv Stevenson, both deceased, have also been named, among others.

Months after Tony disappeared police also revealed there had been a letter from an unknown sender signed "Lochiel" in 1983, stating Tony's body had been buried "in or near'' Fullarton River, west of Julia Creek, on the south side of the Flinders Highway.

Police are hoping to locate a Voere .22 calibre bolt action rifle owned by Tony Jones.
Police are hoping to locate a Voere .22 calibre bolt action rifle owned by Tony Jones.

Searchers did not find anything.

A 2002 inquest found Tony likely had been murdered.

Renewed police appeals in 2015 asked for anyone who knew the whereabouts of Tony's rare .22 calibre Voere rifle to come forward.

Hearings were held last year, after the family petitioned for a second inquest.

Renewed police investigations found the Hughenden slaughter yards were an area of interest, with officers executing a search warrant in 2014.

During the inquest, two persons of interest were named: Townsville businessman Kevin Wright and John Eastaughffe.

Mr Wright argued against having to give evidence at the inquest in 2016 but lost his court application.

Three women told the inquest Mr Wright made disclosures to them about a man's disappearance in the 1980s.

Mr Wright worked at his parents' slaughter yards in Hughenden in November 1982.

He denied any wrongdoing or ever having conversations about killing a man or disposing of a body, and said the information had come from bitter breakups.

John Eastaughffe at the inquest.
John Eastaughffe at the inquest.

 

Kevin Wright attends the inquest.
Kevin Wright attends the inquest.

He also said he had never seen Tony Jones.

Mr Eastaughffe also denied any involvement in Tony's disappearance.

Police told the inquest the slaughter yards and council burn pits had been discussed as places of interest.

The Jones family said they would pay for a ground-­penetrating radar search at the slaughter yard burning pits but State Coroner Terry Ryan agreed with police there was a lack of evidence to do a scan.

The coroner is yet to release his findings.

Mark and his family are now challenging the validity of last year's inquest and say they want a new one. They say the inquest should have been done under 2003 legislation rather than laws from 1958.

A hearing over its validity will be held in the Supreme Court this year.

 

A crime scene warrant was executed at the Slaughter Yards on the outskirts of Hughenden as a possible link to the disappearance of Tony Jones. His brothers say that despite the warrant, police never lifted a blade of grass.
A crime scene warrant was executed at the Slaughter Yards on the outskirts of Hughenden as a possible link to the disappearance of Tony Jones. His brothers say that despite the warrant, police never lifted a blade of grass.

A spokesman for the Coroners Court of Queensland said the inquest had been ­adjourned.

 

Mark is also critical of the police investigations into his brother's disappearance which he wants scrutinised.

If the Hughenden property isn't scanned, Mark says, it will "remain a mystery forever".

"The police took out a search warrant at that property and never lifted a blade of grass," he said.

A $250,000 reward has been offered.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The family can also be contacted via facebook.com/missing82



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