The discovery of a child’s shoe at the bottom of an Avoca mine may be the breakthrough investigators need in the search of missing Maryborough boy Terry Floyd.
The shoe, believed to be worn by Terry the day he disappeared 42 years ago, has been found wedged underneath tonnes of gravel and cement dumped down the Morning Star Mine at Avoca.
The disused mine is strongly thought to be the final resting place of 12-year-old Terry, who was believed to be murdered on or around June 28, 1975.
The almost fully in-tact upper part of a child’s shoe has now been given to investigating police for forensic testing.
Terry’s brother Daryl said the discovery of the shoe at the bottom of the mine was the most significant breakthrough in the historic cold case since he began searching the mine almost a decade ago.
“We have found a small leather shoe – a kid’s sized six shoe – the same size as Terry and very similar in style to what Terry was wearing the day he disappeared,” Mr Floyd said this week.
Brass shoelace eyelets on the old shoe have led Mr Floyd to believe it came from the 1970s era. “Brass hasn’t been used in eyelets for decades,” Mr Floyd said.
Terry disappeared from the corner of the Pyrenees and Sunraysia highways on June 28, 1975. In 2001, a coroner determined Terry was abducted and murdered, but his body has never been found.
Convicted paedophile Raymond Jones has been confirmed by police has a person of interest in the case. A $1 million reward is being offered for information in the case, which has haunted the Floyd family for four decades.
Mr Floyd has spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money, as well as several state government grants, in an effort to find his brother’s remains. A gofundme page has also been set up to help fund the extensive mine search.
Each weekend, weather permitting, Mr Floyd leads a team of specialist miners and volunteers who have dug out hundreds of tonnes of debris from the mine during the search.
Last year a silver chain necklace, similar to the one 12-year-old Terry was wearing when he vanished, was found 42 metres down the Avoca mine being excavated in the search for the boy’s remains. Investigators said the chain was too contaminated to conduct thorough forensic testing.
Anyone with information about the Terry Floyd case can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.