The family of a missing Charlestown woman is unwavering in its support of former NSW Police detective Gary Jubelin and his “shake the tree” approach.
The high-profile detective, who had led the investigation into William Tyrrell’s disappearance from 2014 up until his resignation last year, was fined $10,000 and convicted for making illegal recordings of a person of interest.
Mr Jubelin was found guilty in Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, last week of recording four conversations with Paul Savage – a man who lived near the house that the then three-year-old William disappeared from in Kendall on the Mid-North Coast – on a mobile phone.
However, Julie Talevski, the aunt of Gordana Kotevski, who was last seen in Charlestown in 1994, believed the treatment of Mr Jubelin was a “travesty”.
“Our family, along with many other families of missing persons and victims of crime, unreservedly support former DCI homicide detective Gary Jubelin,” she said.
“He has led investigations into some of Australia’s high-profile crimes with dedication and tenacity, leading to results.
“He is tough on persons of interest. His methodology works. This is the type of cop families want on their side – someone who is not afraid to shake the tree.
“Families of missing persons will say ‘whatever it takes’ to get the answers they so desperately need.
“I believe he did what he thought was right at the time.”
At 8.45pm on 24 November 1994, then 16-year-old Gordana had been shopping at Charlestown Shopping Centre with friends.
She made her way down Powell Street, sighted by numerous witnesses, and was about 50 metres short of her aunt’s house when witnesses heard screams.
Shortly afterwards, a white 4WD Toyota Hilux was seen driving away from the scene towards the Pacific Highway.
Her belongings were found on the footpath shortly afterwards. Gordana was never seen again.
Strikeforce ARAPAIMA has been tasked with investigating the disappearance of Gordana, as well as Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson, who went missing from the Pacific Highway, Belmont North, and Lake Road, Swansea, in 1979.
Ms Talevski said the family was right behind the head of Strikeforce ARAPAIMA, Detective Sergeant Kristi Faber, from the Lake Macquarie Command.
“Kristi and her team have been involved with further investigations relating to information from the late ’70s and early ’80s in relation to the disappearances of Hickie and Robinson,” she said.
“Our support for Kristi Faber and the ARAPAIMA team is also unwavering.
“Their determination and persistence will hopefully lead to the answers our families seek for all three girls.
“We are grateful they are on our side.”
If you have any information, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For updates on the investigation, go to the Facebook page Gordana Kotevski – What happened to me?