One and a half years after Jill Brookes was assaulted and left in her Altona book store with life-threatening injuries, police have issued a $100,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.
Detectives believe that someone, somewhere, has precious information vital to solving the case and are hoping the reward being announced today will entice them to come forward.
Investigators are still of the belief a letter may hold the key to the investigation.
In late May a man attended the Altona North police station and dropped a letter into the station mail box in relation to the incident.
The letter contained a newspaper clipping regarding the incident and a note written with letters cut from the paper.
Investigators from Hobsons Bay Crime Investigation Unit believe this man holds information that is vital to their investigation and are appealing for him to again contact police.
Detective Senior Constable Matt Noonan said the past 18 months had been difficult for the Brookes family.
“This has been an incredibly challenging time for Jill and her family,” Det SC Noonan said.
“She sustained life-threatening injuries and the reality is that she’s incredibly lucky to still be with us.
“We’ve been working hard over the past 18 months to try and identify who is responsible and bring about some justice for the Brookes family.
“The person who dropped the letter into the police station had some information that makes us believe he has the key to identifying and locating the offender, and we are appealing for him to make contact with police again.”
Jill was located by a fellow trader inside her Harrington Square second-hand book shop around 5pm on Friday, 20 July 2012.
The then 61-year-old sustained life-threatening injuries to her upper body and was conveyed to The Alfred hospital.
Investigators have made several public appeals for information over the 18 months, particularly for anyone who was in the area between 3-5pm on the day, however are yet to make an arrest.
On 19 November last year details of a man police believed could assist with enquiries was released, along with information regarding a truck seen in the area around the time of the assault.
The man was described as being Caucasian in appearance with a medium build.
It’s believed he was wearing full khaki overalls and a dark, checked flannel shirt at the time of the incident.
Unfortunately Jill is still in poor health and her condition has not improved much over the past year.
Det SC Noonan said the announcement of this reward reiterates their commitment to the investigation and having justice served for Jill and her family.
“Information can be provided to police or Crime Stoppers anonymously,” he said.
“The important thing is that if you know something then say something.
“It might seem like a small or insignificant detail but it could make a big difference in this case.”
Anyone who may have information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au