Cairns man Marko Jekic, who has been missing since 1989. Police suspect he was murdered somewhere around the Cassowary Coast.
Cairns man Marko Jekic, who has been missing since 1989. Police suspect he was murdered somewhere around the Cassowary Coast.

Murder cold case blocked by ‘blind loyalty’

SOMEONE in the Far North is keeping a murderous secret.

Whether it be due to loyalty or fear - police don't know whether it is either or both - it is a secret they have held on to for more than 30 years.

It has been more than six months since police reopened the cold case, codenamed Operation Papa Glimmer, and announced a $250,000 reward linked to the disappearance of Cairns man Marko Jekic, also known as Mike Jekic, in 1989.

The Toyota LandCruiser belonging to Cairns man Marko Jekic, believed to have been murdered in 1989.
The Toyota LandCruiser belonging to Cairns man Marko Jekic, believed to have been murdered in 1989.

The 44-year-old opal dealer left Cairns with a briefcase of cash on April 1 with plans of conducting business deals through the Cassowary Coast, but was never heard from again and police strongly suspect he met with foul play.

Police have never revealed the nature of the "business deals" Mr Jekic was involved in or his link to the associates he was due to meet with.

Since the announcement of the reward, Tully police detective Sergeant Steve Watts revealed they were yet to receive a single call or piece of information from the public, despite him being certain there were several people still living in the region who know what happened.

A camera belonging to Marko Jekic.
A camera belonging to Marko Jekic.

"It's more the blind loyalty from back in those days and why they still harbour that loyalty, I don't know," he said.

"After 30 years, that certainly should have eroded by now.

"We believe we have already spoken to the person (who could provide the information), but they're not willing to."

Mr Jekic, an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia, was carrying a briefcase full of $125,000 when he left Cairns, where he lived with his de facto partner.

She still resides in Cairns and Sgt Watts said she remained desperate for answers.

He was due to meet with people in El Arish, Ingham, Townsville and Bowen.

Police believe up to four people could have been involved in Mr Jekic's murder and some had since died, but at least one was still alive and living in north Queensland.

Sgt Watts said they had previously attempted to contact Mr Jekic's Yugoslavian family, with no luck. He said Mr Jekic had been living in Cairns for at least two years prior to his disappearance.

Mr Jekic's disappearance came three days before Category 3 Cyclone Ava crossed the coast between Townsville and Bowen, which police hoped could help prompt people's memories.

Anyone with information can contact police or anonymously call Crime Stoppers.


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