Superintendent Tim Day, Churchill Fellow and police officer of 32 years with the Victorian Police Homicide Squad Cold Case Hub announced a $1M reward for new information as part of their investigation into the suspicious death of Marea Yann in her Healesville home almost 20 years ago.
Superintendent Tim Day said: “This is primarily about how the Cold Case team at Victoria Police Homicide never give up, and no case is ever really cold,”
“The development of the Cold Case Hub was based on my Churchill Fellowship findings and recommendations. The opportunity to collaborate and learn from our global law enforcement partners, to inform best practice and innovation in our work as criminal investigators within Victoria Police and Australia more broadly, has been invaluable,” Tim said.
“The release of a $1M reward 20 years later in the case of Marea Yann is testament to that and the Cold Case Hub is being utilised to drive leads for dozens of Cold cases,”
Tim recently featured on Sky News interviewed by Denham Hitchcock about the case of Marea Yann.
“Somebody out there knows something. Somebody out there hasn’t told us the whole truth. There is no crime such as a secret crime. Somebody always tells somebody, and somebody knows, and hopefully almost 20 years down the track, somebody is in a position to come forward and tell us something they haven’t before,” Tim said.
The Victorian Police Homicide Squad Cold Case Hub was launched in 2021, and is a purpose-built online interactive platform hosted on the organisation’s website, designed to bring public attention to some of the more than 200 unsolved cold case deaths that currently sit within the squad’s files.
“It’s about providing a single source of truth, reaching people who don’t watch the news or pick up a newspaper anymore. Many are now on social media and we need to leverage that medium to assist us in investigating these cases,”
While many cases have been highlighted in the media or subject to public appeals from police over the years, the hub first time a dedicated website has been established by Victoria Police to give the community easily accessible direct information on unsolved murders.
The hub is based on a model Tim saw used by the Toronto Police Service in Canada, during his 2018 Churchill Fellowship. Tim’s Churchill Fellowship involved studying international homicide squad models in Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the USA. The purpose was to gain insights and exchange knowledge, ultimately enhancing the national capability in investigating serious and organized crime.
Each case package promoted on the hub – the first of its kind in Australia – includes background on the investigation, a photograph of the victim and a personal appeal from the investigator to the public for information.
A direct link to Crime Stoppers Victoria is also provided so information can be reported directly, easily and confidentially by members of the public.
The Crime Stoppers program was incidentally established by another Churchill Fellow Geoff Wilkinson in 1987 after visiting the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom to study developments in police-media relations.
With the ‘True Crime’ genre becoming exceedingly popular in society, Tim points out that the hub’s point of difference is that it contains only factual information from investigating police.
“Many people may think they know these cases inside-out from what they’ve seen on the news or heard in podcasts. The point is, if you’re not the Homicide investigator – you’re not going to know the real facts. This is not about entertainment – it’s about forensic purpose.” Tim said.
Sky News Australia’s investigation interviewed several friends and family members of Marea Yann. Denham posed questions to Tim about the main suspect on the case, but he didn’t elaborate.
Anyone with information cases are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppers.com.au
Visit the Homicide Squad Cold Case Hub at www.police.vic.gov.au/cold-cases
Sky News interview with with Superintendent Tim Day