Who Killed Janine Vaughan?
An 18 year old cold case that finally may be about to be cracked.
For the family of Janine Vaughan, the passage of time has not healed the wounds, they’ve never given up hope that one day her killer would be exposed and Janine’s body returned to them so they can finally lay her to rest.
On Friday, Homicide Commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook announced a $1million reward for information that may lead to Janine’s killer.
"No one is ruled out, we’re reinvestigating this matter from the beginning,” he said.
For police, there have always been three main people of interest, former police officer Brad Hosemans, local pharmacist Andrew Jones and aged care wardsman Denis Briggs, both have always denied any involvement.
This week 10 News First decided to try and find one of the three “persons of interest” and put a few him questions to him about the case.
We chose pharmacist Andrew Jones who, under legal advice didn’t answer any questions at the 2009 inquest into Janine’s disappearance and was eventually cleared due to a lack of hard evidence against him, he has always denied any knowledge or involvement in the case.
State Coroner Mary Jerram concluded at the time "The only available conclusion is that Janine Vaughan disappeared ... and that she was murdered by person or persons unknown and her body disposed of in such a way that it has not been found," Ms Jerram said.
The new police investigation has focused in on a little red car that Janine was last seen getting into by friends after she left the Metro Tavern night club on George Street in Bathurst at about 3.40am on Dec 7, 2001.
Police believe the same red car stalked another woman 10 minutes earlier, less than 1km away from where Janine was picked up.
"We're convinced it was probably the same vehicle," Superintendent Cook said.
Police revealed last week that they had seized a small red car a decade ago, and are in the process of using new DNA technology to test a sample they found in the back of that car that could not be analysed up until now.
10 News First revealed exclusively on Friday that the car police seized in 2008 was a Red Renault 19 that is believed to have belonged to pharmacist Andrew Jones back in 2001 at the time Janine vanished.
Numerous attempts were made to contact Mr Jones by us since last Friday asking for an interview in relation to Janine Vaughan and his car, he eventually responded late on Monday night to let us know he was too busy for an interview.
“Good to know you are writing. Be factual and truthful. Call out the lies. I am a little busy at the minute," Jones said.
10 News First went to his Katoomba home in the Blue Mountains on Tuesday morning but what followed was a bizarre four-hour cat and mouse game that led us on from Katoomba to the Sydney CBD and onto the lower north shore before he alluded us.
While Jones would not stop and talk to us on camera he did phone me.
In relation to a little red car, Jones admitted he did own a red Renault 19 while he lived in Bathurst at the time of Janine’s disappearance but that he sold that car years ago and did not know what became of it.
“I honestly don’t know, I sold that car a long time ago. I can’t tell you. Many many years ago I sold the car,” he said.
When asked if he knew how long police had his car for, Jones replied “I honestly don’t know. It's a long time I ago I really can’t remember but I sold the car”.
10 News First understands Jones sold the Renault 19 in 2002, less than a year after Janine went missing and that his car was seized by police long after he sold it.
Jones reiterated to us that he was cleared by the 2009 inquest into Janine’s disappearance and continued to deny any involvement in the case and doesn’t understand why he remains a person of interest for police.
“I’m an honest person. I don’t have anything to do with the case in Bathurst I’ve never had anything to do with it so it’s quite a mystery why this has all taken off now”.
He also denied ever knowing Janine “I don’t know anything about the person who went missing and I didn’t know them”.
At the 2009 inquest hearing he admitted to police that he knew of Janine but “was not friendly with her”.
Mr Jones told us that he was very upset to see his name linked with this case during our story that ran on 10 News First last Friday.
“It was quite surprising that you used my photo on the TV and linked it to this case in Bathurst because I have nothing to do with the case,” he told us on Monday.
We again offered Mr Jones the opportunity for a full sit down interview with 10 News First about the latest developments but again he declined.
“No I’m sorry I can’t do it but I’m open to talking in the future to you about it. It’s just not the right time now” he said.
After 18 years of being regarded as a person of interest hopefully the “right time” will be soon.