William (Bill) ROACH
William (Bill) ROACH
Bill was last seen
at Armidale NSW on 31 December 1993. He liked to travel the north coast of New
South Wales and did so extensively.
Police Investigate Missing Person as Murder Case
20 September 2005
Detectives from New England LAC are investigating the disappearance of a man 12
years ago as a murder case.
William “Bill” Roach, 25, was last seen alive on New Year’s Eve in 1993 when his
uncle Jim Roach dropped him off into the Armidale town centre.
At the time, the part-time student at the University of New England was living
on a property approximately 20km outside Armidale, called “Springvale”.
Despite a few unconfirmed sightings, Bill has not been seen since and his family
has had no knowledge of his whereabouts or even if he was dead or alive. He was
listed as a missing person.
Last year detectives from Armidale received fresh information from the public
that Bill was murdered. Strike Force Annan was set up as a result and is
investigating Bill’s disappearance and suspected death.
Today in Armidale, more than 50 people, including police from the diving unit,
Forensic Services Branch, local general duties and a number of SES workers, are
conducting a thorough search of the property “Springvale” and other locations to
try and find Bill’s body and other evidence.
Detectives from the Strike Force will be travelling to Sydney and Brisbane next
week to interview people they believe could assist the investigation further.
“The information we received last year has given us new leads with which to
investigate what happened to Mr Roach,” Detective Sergeant Greg Lamey from New
England LAC said.
“Basically, he just disappeared off the face of the earth. However we believe
now he is a victim of foul play.
Friday, September 23, 2005. 8:27am (AEST)
Missing man may have been murdered:
Detectives from the New England local area command in north-west New South Wales
are investigating a number of leads in connection to the disappearance of a man
12 years ago.
William "Bill" Roach, 25, was last seen alive on New Year's Eve in 1993.
New information was given to police last year that he may have been murdered.
A search of his property, near Armidale, was completed yesterday.
Forensic officers took a number of items for further examination.
As a result of the information, detectives have travelled to Sydney and Brisbane
to continue their investigation.
Search fails to find body of victim
Friday, 23 September 2005 - The Armidale Express
AN EXHAUSTIVE two-day search of a property north of the city this week failed to
uncover the body of former University of New England student William 'Bill'
Roach, who was believed to have been murdered in Armidale 12 years ago.
More than 50 members of the police and SES, including police divers, combed the
rugged area 20km north of Armidale on Tuesday and Wednesday - finding no trace
of Mr Roach's body.
However forensic services officers took a number of items for further
examination during the search of a property and house.
Detectives have travelled to Sydney and Brisbane to interview people they
believe can assist with the investigation.
Bill was last seen alive on New Year's Eve in 1993 when his uncle Jim Roach
dropped him off into the Armidale town centre.
While studying at UNE, Bill was living at a property north of Armidale.
Bill's disappearance was treated as a missing person case until police announced
on Tuesday that new information suggested foul play was involved.
Officers are now appealing for anyone with information about Bill Roach's murder
to contact them on 6771-0699 or call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333-000.
Witch link to missing man
By Kristy Reading - Northern Daily Leader
Monday, 26 September 2005
NEW ENGLAND detectives are investigating a number of leads following last week's
public appeal for information on the disappearance of William "Bill" Roach in
Police say Mr Roach may have been cursed by a coven of witches after he had
mocked them at a secret ceremony he visited with his practising witch
Police say his state of mind may have put him in a risky position where he may
have been subject to foul play.
Mr Roach's mother Yvonne told a Sunday paper he was going through a "weird time"
experimenting with marijuana, witchcraft and dungeons and dragons.
Police will not reveal if anything was found during last week's search of his
home "Springvale" and surrounding property, including waterways.
Mr Roach, 25, was last seen on New Year's Eve in 1993 when his uncle dropped him
into the Armidale CBD.
Strike Force Annan was formed last year to investigate his disappearance after
new information was given to police that he may have been murdered. Last week
strike force officers made a public appeal for more information.
As well as the appeal, forensic officers took a number of items for examination
after a search of Mr Roach's previous residence.
Police and Strike Force Annan are still appealing for anyone with information to
contact them on 6771 0699 or call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Inquest likely into fate of missing man
By Matt Adams
Tuesday, 1 August 2006
AN INQUEST is likely to be held into the case of a university student who
disappeared from the Armidale area almost 14 years after being "cursed by
The whereabouts of William "Bill" Roach remains a mystery, as inquiries into his
disappearance reveal he was possibly the victim of foul play.
A special strike force was set up last year to investigate the circumstances
surrounding his disappearance around New Years 1993.
The then 25-year-old was last seen in the Armidale central business district and
was a part-time student at the University of New England.
In a bizarre twist, it is understood Mr Roach was cursed by a coven of witches
weeks before he vanished after earlier mocking them at a secret ceremony he
visited along with his girlfriend.
Strike Force Annan detectives, Forensic Services Group officers, police divers
and State Emergency Service volunteers searched the property Springvale, 20km
north of Armidale, in the hope of finding Mr Roach's remains following new
Mr Roach was living at the two-house lot with an alternative community while a
part-time student at the UNE prior to his disappearance.
NSW Police Missing Persons Unit officers and New England Local Area Command
detectives tracked down Mr Roach's natural mother following an extensive search.
Mr Roach's adoptive mother and natural mother met for the first time earlier
this year and now share a special bond as they seek information on where their
An inquest is likely later this year or early next year with the matter reported
to the State Coroner.
Police highlight missing person cases
Wednesday, 2 August 2006. - ABC
Northern New South Wales police have used Missing Person's Week to renew an
appeal for help to find an Armidale man who has been missing for more than 13
Bill Roach was 25-years-old when he went missing and was a part time student at
the University of New England.
Sergeant Mark Samways from the missing persons unit says the resources put
towards finding anyone reported missing are enormous.
He has called on those who have been out of contact with family for some time to
make some form of contact to let them know how they are doing.
Sergeant Samways says it can be a difficult time for friends and family of the
"The research has shown that for every missing person up to 12 people are very
closely affected by the person going missing," he said.
"It may raise a few concerns amongst the families and bring memories to the
surface but all in all the families that I speak to say they will use any
opportunity to use the publicity to locate their loved ones."
Strike force detectives
renew appeal for public help into Armidale man’s
disappearance 16 years ago
Friday, 04 Sep 2009
Detectives conducting inquiries into the
disappearance of a man from the state’s New England
region almost 16 yers ago have renewed their appeal
for public assistance.
Bill Roach, then aged 25, vanished from the
Sunnyvale area, near Armidale, on New Year’s Eve
Mr Roach was last seen walking out of Armidale along
the Grafton Road in the afternoon or early evening
of that day.
Strike Force Annan, comprising police from New
England Local Area Command, was established in 2003
to examine anonymous information shedding new light
on Mr Roach’s disappearance.
Exhaustive investigations have uncovered several
fresh leads, including the identification of new
persons of interest.
An inquest into the disappearance and suspected
death of Mr Roach commenced at Glen Innes Coroner’s
Court yesterday (Thursday 3 September) before Mr
Earlier this week, NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly
announced a $50,000 reward for information leading
to the location of Mr Roach.
Inspector Greg Lamey, who is leading the
investigation into Mr Roach’s disappearance, said
his family is still holding out hope he’ll be found.
“Mr Roach’s family and friends have been left
devastated and with som many questions about what
happened to him,” Insp Lamey said. “Detectives have
been working hard behind the scenes following up
every new piece of information, while Mr Roach’s
mother Yvonne, has never given up the search for her
Strike Force Annan is continuing its inquiries.
“If you have any information that might help
investigators – no matter how insignificant you
think it might be – please contact us via Crime
Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” Insp Lamey said. “After
16 long years, the Roach family deserves closure on
what has been a heartbreaking chapter of their
Student missing 17 years sparks
The New South Wales Government is
offering $50,000 for information that will help find a
university student who went missing at Armidale nearly 17
Police say they have exhausted all their leads in the
case of Bill Roach, who was last seen in Armidale, in the
state's New England region, on New Year's Eve in 1993 when
he was 25.
His disappearance sparked an investigation that spread
to Brisbane and Sydney and included a search of an Armidale
district property in 2005.
A coronial inquest will begin today into the
Missing man cold case sparks plea for leads
Police have renewed an appeal for information relating to
the disappearance of an Armidale man more than 15 years ago.
Bill Roach, 25, a part-time student at the University of New England, went
missing around New Year's Eve in 1993.
New information suggests he may have travelled to the Bowraville area, on
the New South Wales mid-north coast, after vanishing.
A coroner's inquest into Mr Roach's disappearance is part-heard and last
year the Police Minister announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to
Mr Roach's whereabouts.
NSW Police Force
February 23rd 2021
The NSW Government has increased the reward to $1 million
for information over the suspicious disappearance and suspected murder
of William Roach nearly three decades ago.
William “Bill” Roach was 25 when he was last seen on
Barney Street, Armidale, on Friday 31 December 1993 and was reported
missing in early 1994.
Strike Force Annan was established in 2004 to examine the
circumstances surrounding Mr Roach’s disappearance and a reward of
$50,000 was originally offered for information.
In 2010, a coronial inquest was conducted and found that
it was likely Mr Roach had died but the cause of death was undetermined.
His body has never been located.
This was despite extensive investigations over the years,
including the execution of a crime scene warrant at a property on the
outskirts of Armidale in February 2016. The reward was increased to
$100,000 at this time.
To assist with ongoing inquiries, the NSW Government
announced the reward for information has been increased to $1 million
from today (Tuesday 23 February 2021).
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David
Elliott, said he hopes the increased reward will help encourage anyone
with information to come forward and assist Strike Force Annan.
“The pain of not knowing what has happened to a loved one
is unimaginable, and we hope that the NSW Government’s $1 million reward
could be the push that helps police find answers for the Roach family,”
said Minister Elliott.
“Any information, no matter how small, could be the piece
police need to solve this case.”
New England Police District Commander, Detective
Superintendent Steve Laksa, said that Mr Roach’s family deserve answers.
“William’s family is living with the pain of not knowing
where he is, or if any harm has come his way, and they have waited long
enough for answers,” said Detective Superintendent Laksa.
“We believe there are people in the community who have
vital information about William’s disappearance and what happened to him
on the last day he was seen alive.”
“We are keen to speak with anyone who has information
about his whereabouts, even a small piece of information about William’s
movements could make a big difference to this investigation.”
At the time of his disappearance, William was described
as being of Caucasian appearance, 180cm tall, of thin build, with brown
wavy hair, and brown eyes.
When he was last seen, it is believed he was wearing blue
jeans, work boots, and a red flannelette shirt with the sleeves buttoned
As the investigation continues, William’s sister, Kim
Roach, is hopeful for answers.
“It has been 27 years since we have heard from Bill and
we just want to know what happened to him,” said Kim.
‘We are so grateful for a reward of this magnitude to be
offered to assist investigators finally solve this case and find out
what happened all those years ago.”
The $1,000,000 reward is available for information
leading to the discovery of William Roach’s whereabouts or disclosing
the circumstances of his disappearance. The investigation is also the
subject of a new podcast, now available online.
Anyone with information about Mr Roach’s disappearance is
urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is treated
in strict confidence. The community is reminded not to report crime via
NSW Police social media pages.
ABOUT THE ‘WILLIAM ALLAN ROACH’ PODCAST: Adam Shand
reports on the mystery of Bill Roach who disappeared from the Armidale
area of NSW around New Year’s Eve 1993. Police suspect foul play and
have raised the reward for information to $1 million. Detective Senior
Constable Mark Symons delves into Roach’s cohort of friends and turns up
new evidence that takes the case in a fresh direction after three
Episode One. Deep Water.
Bill Roach’s body has never been found despite information that he was
killed on a remote farm. His remains were allegedly hidden in a deep
waterhole before finally being burnt and buried at another location.
Symons goes right back to Roach’s childhood to understand his final
Episode Two. A Psychedelic Adventure.
Eight weeks before his disappearance, Bill Roach attended a
counterculture festival where he claimed he had been cursed by witches.
Some friends believe he left Armidale in search of answers from
traditional healers and perished in the bush. However, Symons finds a
more earthly motive for Roach’s demise, a possible involvement in the