"Frank" Patrick FOLEY - Tragically located deceased
Human remains found by gem fossicker identified as Queensland man missing since
Australian Associated Press - The Guardian
Tue 5 Sep 2023 16.36 AEST
Police have identified human remains in the central Queensland gemfields
as belonging to a man believed to have been murdered almost 15 years ago.
The son of Francis Patrick Foley pleaded for public help to find his father’s
killer as detectives announced the DNA breakthough and a $500,000 reward for
help with their investigation.
Foley, known as Frank, was last seen at his home in the Reward Fossicking Area
near Rubyvale, west of Rockhampton, about 23 December, 2008.
A neighbour went to his home to check on him a few days later following a flood
only to find an exploded gas bottle and Foley’s wallet but no sign of the
Police later found Foley’s blood at the home and determined a shotgun blast had
damaged the gas bottle and the property’s front door.
Neighbours said they heard gunshots about the time Foley was last seen.
An inquest in 2013 found Foley was likely dead but it did not link anyone to his
The breakthrough into his disappearance began in July last year when a gem
fossicker found human remains in Sheep Station Creek about 1km downstream from
DNA analysis, with help from the Australian Federal Police, identified the
remains as those of Foley.
Police said Foley, who was born and raised in Western Australia, moved to
Rubyvale in 2003 and was a caretaker of a fossicking lease.
Detective senior sergeant Tara Kentwell said police were examining Sheep Station
Creek for more evidence, with searchers and an excavator at the site on Tuesday,
and officers were re-interviewing neighbours.
“We do believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passage of time,
this crime can be solved, offenders can be brought to justice and we can provide
some closure to friends, family and friends,” Kentwell told reporters on
Foley’s son Shaun Charlton made a direct appeal to Rubyvale residents, saying
“I’m from a small town, I know that sort of town Rubyvale is and I know people
“I’ve missed my dad now for 15 years ... please help me find my dad’s killer and
my family help find my father’s killer,” he said.
Police do not believe Foley was a gem miner, but he was known to own a number of
Kentwell said police had identified a number of people of interest and were
approaching some of them again.
“We’re keeping an open mind and that’s why we’re here today to appeal to the
community to provide us information so we can progress our investigation,” she