Robert Deric GRAYSON & Derek Wade VAN DERPOEL


Above - Derek Van Derpoel                                                                              Above - Robert Grayson

On 8 August 1994, Robert Deric GRAYSON, 26 years, was reported missing to Gladstone Police.

On 2 September 1994, his companion Derek Wade VAN DERPOEL, 23 years, was reported missing to Calliope Police. At the time of their disappearance the pair were involved, with another person, in share-cropping in the Kroombit Ranges. They were last seen alive in May 1993 in Gladstone. It is strongly suspected that the pair have met with foul play. Any member of the public with information which could assist Police is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000

Cold case from 1994 reopens


SCOTT Moon may have seen an episode or two of Cold Case on television, but it doesn't get any more real than his present job.

Scott is the officer-in-charge of Rockhampton police's CIB branch and is one of two policemen, based at the city's station, who are central to a cold case that has been reopened in Central Queensland.

A reward of $250,000 is offered for information which leads to the conviction of those responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Robert Deric Grayson and Derek Wade Van Derpoel who went missing nearly 20 years ago.

The pair was involved, with another person, in share-cropping in the Kroombit Tops, about 85km south-west of Gladstone, and were last seen alive in May 1993.

On August 8, 1994, Mr Grayson, 26, was reported missing to Gladstone police.

On September 2, 1994, his companion Mr Van Derpoel, 23, was reported missing to Calliope police.

Detective Senior Sergeant Moon said information from a phone call several months ago prompted a review of the file and the case was now officially reopened.

He said further information from witnesses supported the theory the pair met with foul play. However, he didn't detail the information.

Det Snr Sgt Moon, who has a background in solving old crimes, is being supported by Inspector Tony Wood, also based out of Rockhampton, who had the lead role in the initial investigation.

"People should come forward without fear," Det Snr Sgt Moon said.

"If you were afraid then, there's no need to be now.

"It is often the smallest piece of information that can make all the difference."

Anyone with information should call 1800 333 000.

Hope for $250K reward to spark cold case clues

By Stephanie Fitzpatrick


Police are urging more people to come forward with information about the disappearance and suspected murder of two men near Gladstone, almost 20 years ago.

Robert Deric Grayson, 26, and Derek Wade Van Derpoel, 23, vanished while crop sitting in the Kroombit Tops area in September 1994.

Rockhampton officer-in-charge Scott Moon says evidence suggests the men met with "foul play".

Queensland police are offering a $250,000 reward for those with information that leads to the arrest or conviction of those involved.

Sergeant Moon says police have only received one telephone call since the cold case reopened last week.

"We have received one telephone call that confirmed information that we already knew but other than that, as I've stated previously, there are many challenges involved in cold case investigations, and that's the memories of people," he said.

"So at this stage we've only received one phone call but we're hoping to get more information in.

"Well clearly somebody knows what happened to them and that's what our investigation is about, to solve the mystery as to what happened with both people.

"It is a challenge, particularly with the time that has passed and with any cold case they are difficult investigations but what we do hope is that people do come forward and without fear."

The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Dad Fears He Will Never Know Truth

Byline: Amy Glass

AMBROSE father Vic Grayson has been waiting 16 years for news of his missing son.

The wait never gets easier.

Robert Grayson, 25, disappeared in 1993, along with Derek Van Derpoel.

The men were last seen in Kroombit Tops National Park, near the location of a cannabis crop they were reportedly watching over.

The men are believed to have been murdered between May and June 1993, but their bodies have never been found and police have never publicly revealed their suspicions on the exact fate of the two men.

Speaking to The Observer yesterday, Mr Grayson said he was beginning to lose hope that he would ever know what happened to Robert.

"There are people who know what went on for sure, but they are too frightened to speak out," he said.

"I'd like to have hope but the more time goes on, the more I think I probably won't ever know the truth."

Robert would be 41-years-old now, he said. 

Man facing murder charges over cold case disappearances from drug plantation

By Megan Hendry


Police say they have had a breakthrough in their investigation into the disappearance of two men in central Queensland 25 years ago.

Russell Williams, 51, from Rosedale, north of Bundaberg, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in relation to the disappearance of 23-year-old Derek Van Der Poel and 26-year-old Robert Grayson.

They were last seen in 1993, but a police investigation did not open until the following year.

Mr Williams is also facing a drug-production charge and is expected to appear in the Gladstone Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Mr Van Der Poel and Mr Grayson vanished while they were crop-sitting a cannabis plantation in the Kroombit Tops area.

Their case was reopened in 2012 with a $250,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those involved.

Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said there had been several public appeals since then, generating a number of strong leads.

"Today's arrest is significant and a testament to the exhaustive efforts of investigations, however our investigation is not over yet," he said.

Inspector Shadlow said the arrest was the culmination of dogged detective work.

"It just goes to show the tenacity of investigators involved in this," he said.

"We've got a group of dedicated detectives in Gladstone here as well as the assistance from the homicide investigation group at our Crime Command in Brisbane.

"They've been working doggedly on this for a number of months, revisiting a number of people, revisiting statements, revisiting all the evidence we have in relation to it."

He said Mr Williams was known to police.

"He has been a person of interest in this investigation for quite some time," he said.

Mr Grayson's father Victor Grayson said police informed him of the arrest this morning.

He said he had always held out hope someone would be held responsible for his son's death.

"Every now and then they come and they open up [the case] and they have another look at it," he said.

"This time, it looks like they've hit dirt.

"I wasn't expecting it so soon — I only found out they were re-opening the case last week."

Mr Grayson said he hoped police would recover his son's remains.

"They said they are going to search up there but that's a big area and a long time ago," he said.

Reward remains in place

Detective Inspector Shadlow said police were still appealing to the public for information, and he urged anyone with information to contact them.

"We won't rule out the fact that more than one person was involved in this crime and we are seeking further information from the public," he said.

"We do have theories in relation to the cause of death and at this stage I'm not willing to disclose them."

Police said the $250,000 reward remains in place and appropriate indemnity from prosecution will also be recommended for any accomplice.

Queensland murder victims 'were minding drugs'

Two men murdered in central Queensland were watching substantial drug crops for the man accused of killing them 25 years ago, police allege.

Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel were last seen alive in Gladstone in May 1993 and following extensive investigations a 51-year-old man was charged with their murders and drug production on Monday.

"He has been a person of interest in this investigation for quite some time," Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow told reporters.

Police allege the men were minding marijuana planted in Kroombit Tops National Park when they disappeared.

"We do have theories in relation to the cause of death and at this stage I'm not willing to disclose them," Det Insp Shadlow said.

The national park has been searched several times but the men's bodies have not been found.

So far, more than 100 people have been questioned and investigations into the alleged murders continue with police looking at whether another person was involved.

A $250,000 reward was offered for information which leads to a conviction over the murders.

The accused is due to front Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

TIMELINE: How the double murder unfolded over 25 years

Gladstone Observer

More than 20 years after Robert Grayson and Derek Van Van Der Poel were last seen, the mystery could be over.

Today Russell Williams, a 51-year-old Rosedale man, is expected to front court on two charges of murder and one count of drug production, in relation to the long-running investigation.

Here is how it has unfolded:

May 1993 - Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel last seen alive in Gladstone.

Late May 1993 - Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel are dropped off in Kroombit Tops National Park near the location of the cannabis crop they were tending to.

May/June 1993 - Alleged murder of Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel occurs.

June 1993 - Persons responsible for the cannabis crop realise Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel are missing but fail to report it to police.

August 8, 1994 - Robert Grayson reported missing.

September 2, 1994 - Mrs Jean Fisher files a missing persons report with Calliope Police in relation to her grandson Robert Grayson.

September 4, 1994 - Grayson's companion Derek Van Der Poel reported as missing.

Late February 1995 - Detectives search the Kroombit Tops crop location, finding an abandoned campsite believed to have been used by the men.

August 7, 2004 - A $100,000 reward is posted by police for any information that could lead to the apprehension of persons responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel .

December 3, 2004 - Police and Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence increases reward to $250,000.

May 4, 2006 - Police reveal a witness has come forward in relation to the murders of Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel.

May 11, 2006 - An anonymous male caller provides police with information in relation to the murders of both men.

May 12, 2006 - Police appeal to the anonymous caller to contact them again in relation to the crucial information he earlier provided.

August 7, 2007 - Police renew appeal as part of National Missing Persons' Week.

January 29, 2018 - Man arrested and charged.


Police to search remote Kroombit Tops National Park for remains of alleged murder victims