NSW Police are renewing their appeal for information into the disappearance of a teenage girl from Lake Macquarie for more than 25-years, as part of this year’s Missing Persons Week.
Gordana Kotevski, aged 16, was last seen being forced into a vehicle on Powell Street, Charlestown, while walking from Charlestown Square Shopping Centre to her aunt’s home on the same road about 9pm on Thursday 24 November 1994.
Despite extensive investigations at the time, and over the years, Gordana has not been located.
In a Coronial Inquest into Gordana’s disappearance in 2003, then State Coroner, Mr John Abernethy, found that Gordana Kotevski was deceased, most likely as a result of foul play.
In April 2019, Lake Macquarie detectives established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine the investigation into the unsolved disappearance and suspected murder of Gordana, along with two other missing Lake Macquarie teens – Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson.
Lake Macquarie Police District Commander, Superintendent Danny Sullivan APM, says twenty-five years on, it’s crucial for any potential witnesses to come forward.
“This Missing Persons Week, we want you to think about the person behind the photo. She was just a teenager, she had her life ahead of her.
“There are people in the community who have vital information which could help Strike Force Arapaima detectives solve this case.
“Anyone who lived in or would visit the Lake Macquarie area in late 1994, please cast your mind back and recall if you noticed a light-coloured utility in and around the area.
“It’s been a quarter of a century of unknowns and heartache for Gordana’s friends and family. Please, help us give them closure,” Supt Sullivan said.
Gordana’s aunt, Julie Talevski, is encouraging members of the public to take the time to read about Gordana on www.missingpersons.gov.au.
“This Missing Persons Week, we’ve decided to release one of the last known images we have of Gordana – she was a bridesmaid in 1994. Young, joyous, innocent, she had the world at her feet,” Ms Talevski said.
“The impact of Gordana’s disappearance has taken its toll on her parents and siblings, extended family and friends. Missed special events bring with them a stark reminder of the emptiness felt by her disappearance. The passage of time has not made acceptance of the situation any easier.
“Please, if you know anything or can vaguely remember any information which could help detectives, call the police,” Ms Talevski said.
Anyone with information about Gordana Kotevski’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.
Missing Persons Week is an annual national campaign to raise awareness of the issues and impacts surrounding missing persons and runs between Sunday 2 August and Saturday 8 August 2020.
For more information on the campaign visit www.missingpersons.gov.au.