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$250,000 reward for information into triple murder inquiry - Deniliquin
A large reward is being offered for information into the triple murder of a family in Deniliquin ten years ago.
The NSW Government is offering $250,000 for information leading to the conviction of person or persons
responsible for the shooting murder of 38-year-old Steven Brooks, his wife Barbara, 34, and her son
13-year-old Stacey Willoughby.
On Thursday March 16, 2000 the bodies of Mrs Brooks and Stacey were found in their family car in the
Millewa State Forest, 55km south of Deniliquin.
Four days later, the body of Steven Brooks was found in bushland 500 metres from where the bodies of
his wife and stepson were earlier located. All three had been shot to the head with a .22 calibre weapon.
The family were last seen sitting in a car with an unknown man in Deniliquin's main street, the
afternoon before their bodies were found. The identity of the man has never been established.
State Crime Command Homicide Squad detectives commenced Strike Force Rodi in 2000 to investigate
the slayings but despite an extensive investigation no person has been charged.
Deniliquin man, Damiano Marando, was identified as a person of interest during an inquest held in
Deniliquin in 2001 but Deputy State Coroner Jacqui Milledge found insufficient evidence for any
charges to be preferred.
Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Hans Rupp described the murders as extremely heinous.
"This was an execution style killing of the worst kind with the life of a young boy taken in the
most violent of circumstances," Det Insp Rupp said.
"We are appealing to anyone with information to come forward and assist detectives in finding the
monstrous criminal or criminals responsible."
Police appeal over decade old Deniliquin murder
Police say a triple murder near Deniliquin 12 years ago could still be solved with public help.
Stacey Willoughby aged 13, his mother Barbara and her husband Steven Brookes were found shot dead in a forest south of Deniliquin.
Homicide Squad Inspector Hans Rupp says he has no doubt whoever was responsible is from the Deniliquin area.
He says there is still a $250 000 reward for information.
"We poured a lot of resources into this when the murder first occurred in 2000," he said.
"I've been back to Deniliquin from time to time.
"We try and highlight it every year that it remains unsolved.
"The state government to their credit put up a $250,000 reward a number of years ago and that reward remains unclaimed. "
Detective Rupp says two Wagga women orphaned more than a decade ago deserve to know what happened to their brother and parents.
"What's sad to me about this crime, Stacey was 13, he'd be 25 today," he said.
"He had two sisters and they're now both living at Wagga, now those young girls have grown up without their parents.
"They were effectively orphaned 12 years ago and for me that's a sad, sad thing."
Facebook appeal for Deniliquin triple murder
Deniliquin Police are using their new Facebook site to appeal for information about the Brooks murders,
which occurred near Deniliquin in 2000.
Deniliquin Police are using their new Facebook site to appeal for information about the Brooks murders, which
occurred near Deniliquin in 2000.
The NSW Government is offering $250,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the
shooting of 38 year-old Steven Brooks, his wife Barbara, 34, and her 13 year-old son Stacey Willoughby.
March 16 will be the 12th anniversary of the triple homicide, which occurred in the Millewa State Forest, 55km
south of Deniliquin.
Lead investigator Detective Inspector Hans Rupp has long maintained that there are locals who can identify the killer.
Steven, Barbara and Stacey were shot with a .22 calibre sawn-off rifle.
The bodies of Stacey and Mrs Brooks were found with single bullet wounds to the head.
They were found by bushwalkers on March 17, 2000.
Mrs Brooks (nee Willoughby) was in the driver’s seat of the family’s yellow XF Ford Falcon, parked beside
Stacey’s body was discovered in the boot of the car.
Mr Brooks’ body was found three days later, 500m from the car. He had been shot twice in the head. The Brooks’
left behind two daughters.
While the case was officially suspended in 2002, the search for their killer or killers has continued year after year.
If you have any information that could help with the investigation into the triple murder, contact the NSW
Homicide Squad on (02)88358750, Crimestoppers on 1800333000 or Deniliquin Police on 58812244.
Murder of family remains a mystery
Whoever murdered three members of a Deniliquin family six years ago remains at large today - the anniversary of the killings.
This is despite a $250,000 reward for information leading to a conviction over the deaths of Steven Brooks, his partner
Barbara Willougby and her son Stacey, 13.
The shooting murders were investigated by the state homicide squad from Sydney, but no breakthrough was ever made.
An inquest named local man Danny Marando as a suspect, but there has been no evidence to take the investigation forward.
Kevin Wholohan from Deniliquin police says the reward also drew no response.
"No new information to my knowledge has come to hand, so we would still encourage anyone in the community who may have
information as small as they may think it is to contact the police and it may open up a new line of inquiry," he said.
Inspector Wholohan says there has been surprisingly little talk in town about the unsolved shooting murders, even though
a young boy was among the victims.
"There hasn't been a lot of talk, well obviously there would be still students that are traumatised by losing a friend
and no doubt they may still talk amongst themselves, but information coming to police at this stage and for some time
has been quite limited," he said.
$250,000 Reward To Find Triple Killer
A $250,000 reward has been offered for information leading
to a conviction over the shooting of a family of three in
southwestern New South Wales five years ago.
The reward is the second largest offered in the state after
the $500,000 offered for a conviction over the backpacker
murders committed by Ivan Milat.
Steven Brooks, 38, his wife Barbara, 34, and her 13-year-old
son Stacey Willoughby were found dead in March 2000. All
had been shot in the head with a .22-calibre weapon.
Mrs Brooks was found slumped in the front seat of a yellow
Ford in the Millewa State Forest, south of Deniliquin, on
March 16. Her son's body was later discovered in the boot.
Mr Brooks' body was discovered four days later in nearby
Police initially believed Mr Brooks had murdered his wife
and her son before turning the gun on himself but later
discounted the theory.
The family was seen sitting in a car with an unknown man
in Deniliquin's main street the day before their bodies were
found. The identity of the man has never been established.
During an inquest in Deniliquin in 2001, NSW Deputy State
Coroner Jacqui Milledge identified Deniliquin resident
Damiano Marando as a person of interest.
But Ms Milledge said she did not find enough evidence to
recommend charges against him.
NSW Police Minister Carl Scully said the reward was offered
for information leading to the conviction of a person or
persons for the murders.
"We are appealing for anyone with information to come
forward and help detectives find the criminal or criminals
responsible for these heinous murders," he said.
"We want to bring the perpetrator to justice as well as
bringing closure to this community and, most importantly,
to the surviving family members." .... Crime Stoppers - 1800 333 000.
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