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Mystery Surrounding Three Friends Killed And Their Abandoned Dog

Karen Edwards, Tim Thomson and Gordon Twaddle were just three days into their holiday when they disappeared.

Their bodies were found in bushland 12 kilometres north of Mount Isa, nearly three weeks after they were last seen leaving a caravan park in a car with another man.

All three had suffered gunshot wounds.

Their families have spent more than 40 years searching for answers and now police are launching a fresh appeal for information into the murder of the three friends who were on a motorbike trip from Alice Springs to Mount Isa.

Karen Edwards, Gordon Twaddle and Tim Thomson. Image: AAP/Queensland Police

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell of the Cold Case Investigation Team said police remain committed to bringing those responsible to justice and providing closure to the victims' families.

“We have reviewed thousands of pieces of information provided to police over the years, however, today we are launching a fresh appeal to encourage new witnesses and those who have already spoken to police to make contact with us," she said.

The trio was last seen leaving the Moondarra Caravan Park. Image: Queensland Police

Police are also particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen a male motorcyclist who befriended the group and joined them on their travels, Kentwell said.

The trio left Alice Springs on October 2, 1978, on two motorbikes. Attached to one of those bikes was a home-made sidecar carrying Thomson's nine-month-old Doberman 'Tristie'.

A day later they met a male motorcycle enthusiast at Frewena before camping with him overnight at Barry Cave, police said.

The friends were last seen alive leaving the caravan park with a man in a brown and white Toyota Landcruiser long wheel drive. Image: Queensland Police

The following day the trio continued to travel with the man but only Edwards (23), Thomson (31) and Twaddle (21) checked into the Moondarra Caravan Park that afternoon.

The friends were last seen the following day leaving the park with a man in a Toyota Landcruiser, who had joined them at the campsite the previous night.

They left their dog and their motorbikes behind.

A day after they disappeared all of the property the group had left behind except for the sidecar has been removed from the campsite and the dog located at the Mount Isa Dump, police said. Image: Queensland Police

According to police later that day, the same vehicle was seen returning to the park and a man was seen alone, looking for the dog.

The victims' families have spent a heartbreaking 40 years searching for answers as to who was responsible for the murder of their loved ones.

Thomsons' brother David, released a statement following the police call for information, describing Tim as kind and gentle.

"Tim invited me to go on the trip through the centre of Australia with him and Gordon and Karen but I was unable to go otherwise I would probably not be writing this letter," David said.

"My parents were shattered by the murders and I still feel a numbness that I don’t think will ever disappear."

John, Twaddle's brother also released a statement and said the "horrible event" had prayed on his mind for 40 years.

"Gordon my brother was not only my best friend but we had a common interest in motorcycling which created a very strong bond between us," John said.

"It was that interest in motorcycling that found him in the wrong place at the wrong time," Gordon said.

Anyone who may have seen the trio travelling on their two distinct motorcycles through the Northern Territory and in the Mount Isa area at the time is being urged to come forward.

A $250,00 reward is being offered for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of those responsible for the murders.

Featured Image: AAP/Queensland Police

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au