Ute sought after suspected homicide of New England man in 2010, NSW

Police investigating the suspected murder of New England man Darren Royce Willis are appealing for public assistance to help locate a ute believed to be linked to his disappearance.

Mr Willis was last seen leaving a hotel on Maitland Street, Bingara, on the evening of Friday 10 December 2010.

Strike Force Barca was formed by officers from New England Police District to investigate Mr Willis’ disappearance and suspected homicide.

In June 2018, the Minister for Police, The Hon. Troy Grant MP announced a reward of up to $350,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr Willis’ death or disappearance.

As a result of a media appeal in July last year, investigators identified a 1980 model XD Ford Falcon ute was purchased by two men in Bingara in 2011.

Police have now released an image of the ute and would like to speak to the men who purchased the vehicle, as they believe they may be able to assist with their inquiries.

Investigators have established that the ute is not currently registered, but believe the vehicle may be located interstate, possibly in Queensland.

Regardless of the current condition of the vehicle, Strike Force Barca investigators believe that it could still contain significant forensic evidence, due to recent advances in DNA testing.

New England Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Ann Joy, is urging any person with information about the vehicle to come forward.

“Detectives and members of the Bingara community are heavily invested in resolving the circumstances surrounding his disappearance,” Det Insp Joy said.

“We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has information about this yellow utility in Bingara between 2010 and 2011 and its connection to Mr Willis’s disappearance.

“The vehicle had a V8 Chevrolet motor and is the type of vehicle that would undoubtedly spark the interest of a car enthusiast.

“I’m asking anyone with knowledge of the vehicle’s current whereabouts, or it’s movements since the disappearance of Darren Willis, to speak with Strike Force Detectives,” Det Insp Joy said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Strike Force Detectives at Moree Police Station

on (02) 67570799.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our social media pages.

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