Reward increase brings hope to 46-year-old cold case homicide

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Community Law & Safety Queensland Government


In the first of its kind, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services has approved a significant increase in the reward for information police hope will identify the person responsible for the murder of 14-year-old Marilyn Wallman in Mackay in 1972.

The reward will increase from $250,000 to $500,000.

As one of Queensland’s oldest unsolved murders, the investigation into the murder of 14-year-old Marilyn Wallman has been the subject of complex and protracted police investigations.

Just before 7.45am on March 21, 1972 Marilyn left her family home headed for the Rural Youth Hall where she was to catch the bus to school.

Ten minutes later, Marilyn’s two younger brothers departed home headed on the same 800m journey.

While riding along Wallman Road, the two brothers located Marilyn’s bicycle and her school bag open and books spread across the road.

Police and members of the community conducted an extensive search over the following days, however Marilyn was never located.

In 1974, a bone fragment was located near McGregor Creek at Mount Martin.

After several advancements in DNA technology in 2001, the Central Coroner concluded the fragment did belong to Marilyn Wallman.

Following extensive investigations and several lines of enquiry conducted by local police investigators, the case became subject of a full homicide cold case review in 2015.

The case is currently a joint investigation between the Homicide Investigation Unit and Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch.

“This marks a significant milestone for this investigation and I have been advised it is the first time a government funded increase to an existing reward has been granted," Police Minister Mark Ryan said.

“Police believe this is a necessary step for their investigation and we all hope it will help bring the answers needed by Marilyn’s family.

“This case has remained an open investigation for 46 years with several lines of enquiry but no definitive answers.

“But more importantly it has remained top of mind for a family who deserve to know what happened to Marilyn,” Minister Ryan said.

Detective Inspector Damien Hansen said the increased reward will remain in place for 12 months and will only apply to information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for the murder of Marilyn.

“Appropriate indemnity from prosecution could be recommended for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the crime, who first gives such information,” Detective Inspector Hansen said.

Minister Ryan said Police investigators are confident this is a necessary step in this investigation and one that may help motivate any person who has chosen not to come forward previously to do so now.

Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Queensland Police :
Police Headquarters, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane, Queensland Wide
07 3364 6464
1800 333 000
07 3236 2359
Queensland Police
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