A $100,000 reward has been offered for help in solving the case of a teenage girl who disappeared in a disturbing abduction in central west NSW.
Fifteen-year-old Jessica Small was last seen in Bathurst about 12.35am on October 26, 1997.
Jessica was hitchhiking with a friend, Vanessa Conlan, to a mate’s house when the pair were picked up by a man in a white Holden Commodore.
The man drove the girls a short distance before turning on them.
Vanessa managed to escape and fled down the street, thinking Jessica was behind her.
However Jessica has not been seen since.
Homicide Squad commander Superintendent Mick Willing said investigators believe she was murdered.
“It’s been almost two decades and this was a 15-year-old girl who vanished off the street of a NSW city,” he said.
Supt Willing believes there are people who know what happened to Jessica.
“I implore these people to come forward and tell us what they know.”
Investigators have spoken to dozens of people, including persons of interest, excavated a riverbank at O’Connell, about halfway between Bathurst and Oberon, and examined several vehicles.
The current investigation has been thwarted by serious failings by Bathurst police when Jessica initially disappeared.
After an inquest last year, NSW deputy state Coroner Sharon Freund found there were serious inadequacies that had complicated the investigation.
She recommended a reward to solve the case not be less than $500,000.
Supt Willing confirmed there were still persons of interest in the sights of police.