Steven Fenwick has not been seen since January last year and for his family, the agony of not knowing what has happened to him hurts even more each passing day.
Police believe Fenwick may have been murdered.
“Having just spent their first Christmas without Steven, his family continue to suffer – not knowing what actually happened to him.” Detective Sergeant Jeff Little said.
The NSW government have approved a $500,000 reward to encourage anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of those responsible for Fenwick’s disappearance.
“Despite extensive searches – and finding some of Steven’s personal items at Stockton Beach – Steven himself is yet to be located,” Little said.
“There are now half a million more reasons to speak out and say what you know.”
The last person to see Fenwick alive was his girlfriend Samantha Melville, in the early hours of the morning when he failed to meet her at a park near Stockton Beach in the NSW Hunter region.
“Steven and Samantha were going out for about six months at the time,” Samantha’s father Garry Melville said.
Garry Melville and his son helped with the search in the days after Fenwick’s disappearance and were the ones who found some of his personal items in the sand dunes at Stockton Beach.
“My eldest son stumbled across a few of his belongings – from there on in, the police come in,” Melville said.
“I just hope something can be found sooner or later and it can all be resolved and we can know what happened to Steven.”
Police Fenwick’s items were placed in a way to make it look like he had drowned in the surf after a late-night swim, but those who know him well said he would never go swimming alone.
“Half a million dollars is a lot of money and one thing we know for certain – Steven didn’t just evaporate into thin air,” Little said.
“There are strong indicators that people who knew Steven know far more about what’s happened to him. Sadly, they just don’t have the decency to say it.”
Police are hopeful that this latest appeal will give them the breakthrough his family are so desperate for.
“Having just spent their first Christmas without Steven, his family continue to suffer – not knowing what actually happened to him,” Little said.
“You’ve got to tell – because hiding a dark secret is concealing evil.”
Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers 1800 333 000.