On the 30-year anniversary of Anthony Prebble's abduction and violent death, his family are still holding out hope that they will receive closure.
Anthony Prebble, 37, had been at home with his partner and six-month old daughter when three balaclava-clad men brandishing a sawn-off shotgun crashed through the glass front door of his Ballarat home in Victoria's central highlands about 11.45pm on March 19, 1992.
Mr Prebble was viciously bludgeoned with a baseball bat before his attackers dragged him - bleeding profusely and near unconscious - from his home and into a white Holden Commodore.
Search and rescue crews scoured the forests around Ballarat for Mr Prebble in the days afterwards.
His badly battered body was found by two people gathering firewood in the Creswick State Forest on the evening of March 20.
The Holden Commodore, which was reportedly not stolen, was found dumped in Brunswick the day after his body was discovered.
It had been thoroughly cleaned of any traces of blood.
In articles published in this newspaper at the time, it was reported that Mr Prebble had been known to police for drug activity.
Police determined the motive for the crime was most likely drug-related but never revealed the reason for the attack.
At the time police also told The Courier they believed the murderers were from the Ballarat area and the car had been dumped in the Melbourne suburb to "avoid suspicion".
A post-mortem revealed Mr Prebble had died of "extensive and massive injuries to most parts of his body".
An accused person was charged over the murder but was not convicted.
The trauma and memories of that night have had a profound impact on each of Mr Prebble's four children's lives - Bryan, Kevin, Dayle and Nikita.
Eldest child Bryan was only 16 at the time and had been sleeping in a bungalow at the rear of the house that night.
He is haunted by the fact he left the front wood door to the house open before he went to bed that night, and the sounds he had heard during his slumber.
"I still hear noises from that night. I now know the noises I'd heard were people walking down the side of the house," he said.
He also recalled nearly falling asleep on the couch in the living room, before taking himself to bed about 15 minutes before the abductors broke in.
Since the night of his dad's abduction, when he was woken by police in the early hours of the morning, he has felt the weight of responsibility.
Police escorted him to the houses where his brothers had been staying, where he had to tell them what had occurred.
This year he is speaking out in "a last ditch effort" to obtain closure for his family, on the 30th anniversary of his dad's abduction and later murder.
"Not having closure for all these years is the worst part," he said.
"As sad as it is, I can never let dad rest properly without it."
Hearing rumours and speculation, all while knowing who was responsible, but that they were never convicted, has been exceptionally difficult for Mr Prebble's children.
"There are a lot of people who know who did it," Bryan said.
"I don't think it's a case that they [the police] don't know who did it, it's a case that they can't prove it."
While all of his children acknowledge that their father was "no angel", he was always a good father to them and the way his life ended has deeply affected all of them.
Bryan misses his dad every single day and is reminded of him when looking at his brothers or hearing one of them laugh.
But it is when he spends time with his children and grandchildren that it hurts the most.
"The times it upsets me most is when I sit and hold my grandkids and think that dad didn't get to see his own kids grow into adults, let alone meet his grandkids," he said.
The times it upsets me most is when I sit and hold my grandkids and think that dad didn't get to see his own kids grow into adults, let alone meet his grandkids- Bryan Prebble
Another frustration is the amount of people who contact the family with information but are reluctant, or unwilling, to report it to police.
He pleaded for anybody with information to report it, even if anonymously.
"Please, anybody, if you know anything, please speak up.
"We can't change the past but we can at least try to get closure.
"Anybody who thinks they know anything - anything at all - even if you don't think it's important, it could be the important thing the detectives need.
"They have a rough idea but they just need to put a few more pieces together in the puzzle to complete it.
"Any little bit of information from somebody could make the world of difference to give us closure."
Another of his sons, Kevin, said his life had been "destroyed" by the murder.
"I think about it constantly," he said.
He believes a reward could be enough to persuade somebody with information to come forward, but unlike the many other cold cases in Ballarat, one has never been put on the table.
"Every single person in that scene knows what happened, so all they have to do is put up a reward and someone will come forward."
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Scarlett, of the Homicide Squad, said the squad's thoughts were with Mr Prebble's family on the anniversary.
He said police were continuing to investigate Mr Prebble's murder.
"Despite 30 years passing, investigators believe there may still be people out there with information that could lead to a breakthrough in this case," he said.
"Any new information provided to police about Anthony's death will be thoroughly investigated."
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
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