$100,000 reward in historic murder case

A reward worth more than $100,000 has been offered for information on a New Zealand woman who disappeared in Australia 30 years ago.

Australian police today announced the New South Wales Government was putting up a $A100,000 ($NZ123,031) reward for information on the disappearance and presumed murder of Linda Suzanne Davie, who was last seen on April 6, 1980.

Ms Davie was the second New Zealand woman a $A100,000 reward was being offered for in recent months.

In January, a reward was offered for information on the disappearance of 24-year-old Marion Sandford, who was last seen in January, 1980, and went missing in similar circumstances as Ms Davie.

Ms Davie was 22 years old when she went missing in Sydney.

At the time, she was living with her Australian boyfriend Stephen Lavender, in a house they shared with others in Wollstonecraft on Sydney's North Shore.

The night before her mystery disappearance, police said Ms Davie went to a club called The Manzil Room in Kings Cross with a friend -- where two men attempted to pick them up, and later dropped Ms Davie and her friend home.

The next day she visited Mr Lavender at the Royal North Shore Hospital where he was a patient. That was the last day she was seen.

Mr Lavender became concerned when Ms Davie failed to visit him in hospital on April 7. Three days later, he received a letter believed to be from Ms Davie saying she would be away until the following week. This sudden absence and the letter was out of character, he told police.

Mr Lavender became more concerned when, on his discharge from hospital on April 15, he returned home and found that all of Ms Davie's belongings were still in the house.

Police said they believed the two men who drove Ms Davie and her friend home from Kings Cross on April 5 might have information vital to the investigation.

Police wanted to hear from anyone who knew Ms Davie, whether it be friends, relatives or associates. They would also like to speak with witnesses who came forward initially to police when she was reported missing in 1980.

In 2002, Ms Davie's disappearance was investigated by police in connection with the disappearance of two other women - Ms Sandford, who was last seen in North Sydney, and Mary Wallace - last seen in Sydney's Crows Nest in September 1983.

At the time of Ms Sandford's disappearance, she was living with her brother in suburban Cammeray on Sydney's North Shore.

She penned a note to her brother Peter three days after he last saw her, saying that she would be home soon.

"I am not sure when I will be home, but it should be within 2 days to 1 week at the latest I suppose," the note said.

"Met a couple of friends. See you later."

Mr Sandford, who now lives in Wellington, contacted police when his sister did not return.


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