Mark Anthony Haines was found dead on train tracks near Tamworth, in rural NSW, in January 1988. Police are now offering $1m for information. Photograph: SUPPLIED/PR IMAGE
Decades after an Indigenous teenager was found dead on train tracks in rural NSW, authorities are offering $1 million for information to catch his killers.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains images and names of people who have died.
The reward, along with a new coronial inquest brings hope to Mark Haines grieving family who are still seeking answers after more than 35 years.
Mark Haines was 17-years-old when he died on train tracks outside Tamworth on January 16, 1988, with a stolen car found crashed nearby.
Police concluded the Gomeroi teen laid on the tracks either deliberately or in a dazed state, something his family never believed.
After a 1989 coronial inquest returned an open finding, a fresh inquest was announced earlier this year and will begin in April 2024.
At a press conference in Tamworth on Friday, NSW Police will double the reward for information from $500,000, which was set on the 30th anniversary of Mr Haines’ death in 2018.
Senior officers from the Oxley Police District will be joined by members of the Haines family to make the announcement.
Investigators hope the reward will deliver information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Acting Superintendent Jeffrey Budd believes there are people out there who know what happened to Mark.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to providing the NSW Police Force with everything that might be required to bring answers to families impacted by unsolved crimes.
“We have received some useful information and support from members of the public on this investigation. Yet we believe there are still people who know exactly what happened to Mark but are either afraid, or unwilling, to share that information with police.”