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Renewed efforts from police to locate suspect in Coast cold case murder

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Detectives from the Cold Case Investigation Team have launched a campaign across Queensland and South Australia as part of the continued investigation to locate 70-year-old Keith Lees.

An arrest warrant was obtained in July for Keith Lees in relation to the 1997 murder of Meaghan Louise Rose on the Sunshine Coast.

On July 18, 1997, 25-year-old Meaghan was located deceased at the base of the Point Cartwright Cliffs at Mooloolaba.

Related story: Arrest warrant for man over cliff murder 26 years ago

Homicide cold case detectives re-examining the case attended a Victorian address on June 25 to speak to Mr Lees in relation to the investigation.

The following day his vehicle was located abandoned at Portland.

CCTV identified that Mr Lees was in Port Fairy on June 26, before being sighted in Waurn Ponds and Shepparton on June 27.

Keith Lees.

There have been no further confirmed sightings since, but investigators believe he may be seeking casual work in the farming and fruit-picking industries in rural and regional areas of Australia.

As part of ongoing efforts to locate Mr Lees, CCIT detectives have launched a campaign with digital posters across public transport sites to appeal to the public for any information in relation to his whereabouts.

Simultaneously, detectives are following up on further lines of inquiry, re-contacting all known associates of Mr Lees and engaging with members of the public regarding the appeal for information.

Related story: Family members make appeal in cold case investigation

CCIT Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said investigators were particularly appealing to regional and rural Australians to be vigilant regarding new people in their town.

“It is likely Keith Lees has changed his appearance and is using a false name,” she said.

Meaghan Louise Rose.

“We urge those in our regional communities to take a moment and consider if any men new to town since June, who have similar features or characteristics, may be Mr Lees and to immediately report that information to police.

“Any information, no matter how small or insignificant, could mean the closure of an investigation 26 years in the making and bring closure to Meaghan’s family.”

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting or call 131 444.

Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.

Quote this reference number: QP1701822980.

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