A man who admitted to raping and killing a young woman on the Gold Coast nearly four decades ago has been jailed for 20 years, but could be released next year.
Troy James O’Meara last week pleaded guilty in Brisbane’s Supreme Court to the brutal rape and murder of Linda Reed in 1983.
The 21-year-old was last seen alive while doing some shopping on her lunch break at Pacific Fair in Broadbeach.
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She was due to return to work at 1pm but never did, her body turning up in a creek bed at Gaven three days later with her hands bound by a bikini top and cord.
Police believe she was abducted from the shopping centre and forced to drive to the location where she was raped and killed.
Mr O’Meara was finally taken into custody for the crime in 2018 after investigators matched microscopic skin samples found on Ms Reed’s body with his DNA.
The court heard last week that less than two years after killing Ms Reed, Mr O’Meara murdered another young woman in “similar circumstances” in Brisbane.
He was arrested in July 1985 for that crime and sentenced to life behind bars.
The now 54-year-old, who would have been just 17-years-old when he murdered Ms Reed, will be eligible for parole in July 2022.
“You will then have been in prison for 37 years,” Justice Glenn Martin said during sentencing.
“It will before the parole board to determine whether you will be released.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell of Homicide’s Cold Case Investigation Team released a statement a short time ago, thanking everyone who has contributed to the “intensive and lengthy investigation”.
“I wish to acknowledge the significance of this investigation, including the determination and commitment of investigators past and present that has led to today,” Detective Senior Sergeant Kentwell said.
“Over a 35-year period, Queensland Police have continued to progress investigations into the rape and murder of Linda Doris Reed… This investigation changed focus in 2014 when fingerprint evidence first identified Troy James O’Meara as a suspect.
“Over the next four years the Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team meticulously reviewed this investigation overcoming challenges imposed by the passage of time.
“The success of this investigation is due to the perseverance of investigative, intelligence, forensic and administrative staff.
“The cooperation and patience of witnesses as well as the family and friends of Linda Reed with Queensland Police has been integral to providing justice for Linda.
“The sentence delivered today by Justice Martin will hopefully bring some answers and closure to those affected by the tragic murder of Linda Reed who was only 21 years of age when her life was abruptly taken at random by Troy James O’Meara.”