TV series and reward sparks fresh interest in death of Mark Haines

On a mission: Mark Haines' uncle Don Craigie will not rest until the truth is uncovered about the mysterious death of his nephew in Tamworth in 1988. Photo: Gareth Gardner

On a mission: Mark Haines' uncle Don Craigie will not rest until the truth is uncovered about the mysterious death of his nephew in Tamworth in 1988. Photo: Gareth Gardner

A $20,000 reward has been offered to anyone who can help solve a 29-year-old Tamworth murder mystery, while the family wait to have a single word removed from the headstone.

Last week a three-part series on NITV shone the light back on the suspicious death of Mark Haines, whose body was found on railway tracks just outside of town on January 16, 1988.

Mr Haines’ uncle, Don Craigie, has dedicated his life to “finding justice for our boy”, and hopes the extra attention from the Cold Justice series, the fact that the investigation is under review by the State Crime Command (SCC), and now the reward, can help crack the case and end 29 years of uncertainty, pain and grief for the family.

“When we find out, and we will, it is not going to be a celebration or anything like that, we are hoping it can just provide closure for the family,” he told The Leader.

“I will probably just curl up and die, but I am not going to die until I find out what happened to our boy.

“The family has suffered for so long – we need to find the truth and we need to find justice and I think we are getting close.”

Don’s brother Jack has stumped up the $20,000 reward, which will be awarded to anyone who puts forward information that leads to an arrest, with or without a conviction.

“We asked the state over and over again to post a reward, but in the end we have had to do it ourselves,” Mr Craigie said.

Mr Craigie, and others, believe the original police investigation was lacklustre. Last week, Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said “it would be very pleasing to unearth evidence that leads to an arrest”.

The SCC is reviewing the case and in conjunction with Oxley detectives, investigations continue.

“We never believed the scenarios that the police came up with at the time – it was out of character,” Mr Craigie said. “We believe he met with foul play today, as we did back then.

“We are hoping the show and the reward will lead to closure for the family, and then we will look at getting his plaque changed at the cemetery. “It says mysteriously died – we want to take the mysteriously away.” 

This story Cold reward: Family offer $20k to help solve mystery first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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