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Daughter breaks down over mystery killing

Written by on May 21, 2024

Queensland Police has offered a $500,000 reward for new information on the 1998 murder of pregnant sexworker Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Henry, with her daughter imploring anyone with information to speak out.

The then 30-year-old’s body was discovered at Bygotts Rd in the Brisbane suburb of Samford, face down on the gravel reserve.

She suffered several wounds to her head, with evidence indicative of attempts to incinerate her body with petrol.

Autopsy results also confirmed she was four months pregnant at the time.

Initial investigations revealed she had been killed at another crime scene before her body was dumped in Samford, however police have never been able to confirm the location.

Efforts to recover her black hand bag and clothing – a dark denim miniskirt and a shirt – have also proven unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, Ms Henry’s daughter Grace said her mother’s murder has been a “lifelong visceral loss”.

She said resolving her mum’s death would bring the family “some kind of closure”.

“The loss of a mother has affected our family viscerally. Her parents lost their daughter, her siblings lost their sister and her children have never had the opportunity to know her,” she said, crying.

She said that Ms Henry’s children have all undergone “decades of therapy,” in attempts to “live besides grief”.

“We as children had to learn how to mother and father ourselves,” she said.

“We didn’t have a mother when life was hard, hearing friends celebrate their mother’s birthdays and family events was a constant reminder that our mum is gone.

“We had to lie and make up stories about our mother’s death to avoid making people uncomfortable.”

After 26 years of stymied investigations, police have still been unable to confirm the “blunt heavy object” used to kill Ms Henry.

Police have so far made 300 inquiries and taken 100 statements in their investigation of the murder.

Detective Senior Sergeant Anthony Johns said new information has been identified as part of recent forensic reviews, with police recently interviewing persons-of-interest.

He said the $500,000 reward, which doubles the $250,000 put forward for new information about Ms Henry’s murder in 2018, would hopefully lead to the conviction of the person, or persons responsible for her murder.

He said police will also recommend indemnity from prosecution for the person who “first gives such information,” as long as they aren’t the person for committed the crime.

“It is never too late to come forward. Relationships and loyalties change and I would encourage those persons to come forward,” he said.

Ms Henry’s sister Jen, said solving the murder was also about achieving justice.

“It’s about the fact that somebody took someone else’s life and that’s never okay,” she said.

“It’s not something that should be taken to anyone’s grave. If you’re were involved or have any information, it’s about not keeping that, and sharing that information for the sake of Liz’s family, and for justice for her as a person.

Anyone with new information is urged to contact Crimestoppers nationally on 1800 333 000, or online of the Crimestoppers website.

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