POLICE CHARGE DOUBLE MURDER SUSPECT
ROSEDALE RESIDENT ACCUSED OF KILLS
POLICE yesterday charged a 51-year-old Rosedale man with the murders of two men who disappeared 25 years ago.
Police believe Derek Van Der Poel, 23, and Robert Grayson, 26, were watching a marijuana crop at Kroombit Tops when they were killed.
Yesterday’s breakthrough came after an exhaustive investigation during which police revisited evidence and interviewed 100 people.
IT IS the revelation two families and detectives involved in the region’s most puzzling mysteries have waited 26 years for.
After revisiting years of evidence and interviewing more than 100 people, Gladstone police yesterday charged a 51-year-old man in relation to the disappearance and suspected murder of Derek Van Der Poel and Robert Grayson.
Russell Williams, of Rosedale, was charged with two counts of murder and drug production following an exhaustive investigation by Gladstone detectives and members of the Homicide Squad.
But Capricornia District Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said police could not rule out that more than one person was involved in the crime.
Mr Van Der Poel, 23, and Mr Grayson, 26, were last seen in late May, 1993 when they were tending to a “substantial” sized marijuana crop at Kroombit Tops National Park, between Monto and Calliope.
Police believe Mr Williams was also involved in the drug production at Kroombit Tops.
Others with knowledge of the marijuana crop were urged by Det Insp Shadlow to “dig into their conscience” and share information that could lead to the conviction of those involved.
In 2009, Mr Grayson’s father, Vic Grayson, who last saw his son in March 1993, said he was beginning to lose hope he would ever know what happened to his son.
“I’d like to have hope but, the more time goes on, the more I think I probably won’t ever know the truth,” he said.
Det Insp Shadlow said the arrest reopened wounds for the families, but also gave them some form of closure.
During the investigation, more than 100 people were interviewed.
Det Insp Shadlow said the culmination of yesterday’s arrest showed the tenacity of the investigators.
“(Gladstone detectives and the Homicide Squad) have been working doggedly on this for the past few months, revisiting a number of people, statements and evidence,” he said.
A $250,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction is still on offer.
(Police) have been working doggedly on this for the past few months... — Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow
LAST SEEN 1993
VICTIMS: Derek Van Der Poel, 23, and Robert Grayson, 26, were last seen in 1993.
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow discusses the arrest of 51-year-old Rosedale man Russell Williams.