‘Crucial step forward’ in schoolgirl cold case
THE cold case murder of a Queensland schoolgirl found bludgeoned to death in her bed 30 years ago is a step closer to being solved after authorities agreed to forensically retest crucial evidence.
The family of slain 15-year-old Toowoomba girl Annette Mason believe the scientific advances in DNA testing since the 1989 crime may help to finally catch the beloved teen's killer.
A three-week inquest into the tragic murder mystery was held in Brisbane late last year and had been due to resume in January but the case was indefinitely delayed.
The Courier-Mail can now exclusively reveal the resumption of the inquest was pushed back to allow items connected to the crime to be retested for DNA using modern technology.
Annette's sister Linda Mason has spent the past three decades fighting for justice for her sister and said she had been "hoping and praying" for new DNA tests, stating the inquest was the family's last chance for answers.
"I burst into tears when I was told as I know deep down inside that this is our best possible chance of finding the person who killed my sister," she said.
"I have wanted this to happen for so long now and finally we could have some answers.
"The person who did this to Annette has walked free for 30 years while our family has had to suffer every single day - now their time could be up."
The Courier-Mail understands the forensic tests are currently under way with authorities expecting the results by July.
Shine Lawyers solicitor Leanne McDonald has represented Annette's family throughout the inquest and said the testing was a "crucial step forward".
"We suspect this news will make certain people out there very nervous," she said.
"We have waited a long time for this and we will continue to be patient, knowing that every stone is being unturned before the inquest is closed."
"We are hopeful that with the advances in technology, DNA will be found on some of the items being forensically tested. A positive result will finally complete the picture for us."
Ms McDonald said anyone with information about the murder should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.