Thursday, September 14, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The Queensland Government is offering a reward of $500,000 for information regarding the suspicious circumstances of Francis Foley’s death, in December 2008, in Rubyvale, west of Emerald.
62-year-old Francis Foley, known as Frank, disappeared from his Reward Fossicking area residence in December 2008.
A neighbour conducted a welfare check on Frank, on December 28, after some local flooding, and discovered an exploded gas bottle and Frank’s wallet in the carport, but could not find Frank.
Police attended the residence and located blood, which was confirmed to be Franks.
Further police investigation revealed that the gas bottle explosion and damage to the property’s front door was a result of a shotgun blast.
A number of neighbours confirm hearing what they believed to be gunshots in the afternoon or evening of December 23 or December 24.
In July 2022, human remains were located approximately one kilometre downstream from Frank’s residence.
The remains were confirmed to be Frank’s, with assistance from the Australian Federal Police National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons.
Homicide Cold Case Investigations Team detectives have begun a review into Frank’s death.
Frank relocated to Rubyvale in 2003 and was a caretaker for a fossicking lease at the time of his disappearance.
While Frank himself was not a gem miner, several valuable gemstones have been located in his possession.
Frank’s son, Shaun Charlton, said his family is extremely hopeful someone will have the information needed to provide them answers.
“Almost fifteen years after my father’s death, it would mean everything to know what happened and have some closure,” Shaun said.
“We ask anyone in the Rubyvale and fossicking communities to please, if you know something, speak to police.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said the Cold Case Investigation Team is confident the matter can be solved.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Frank and they now have 500,000 reasons to come forward and speak to police,” Detective Senior Sergeant Kentwell said.
“Anyone with knowledge of Frank’s movements on 23 December 2008, or who may have information relating to this investigation, is urged to contact police.”
Police have begun an extensive search in the area where Frank’s remains were located.
The $500,000 being offered by the Queensland Government is for information that leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Frank’s death.
Francis Foley, better known as Frank, disappeared under mysterious circumstances from his property in Rubyvale, December 2008
His residence contained suspicious indicators of shotgun blasts
Frank’s son is grateful for police returning to Frank’s disappearance
Frank relocated to Rubyvale in 2003, before his disappearance in 2008. Photos supplied