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Schoolgirl 'held for ransom' before murder

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Toby Mann

A 12-year-old schoolgirl believed to have been murdered more than 18 years ago was allegedly being held for ransom when she was "substantially" injured, court documents reveal.

Vinzent Tarantino, 49, fronted Sydney's Central Local Court on Monday charged with murder and detain for advantage over the July 27, 1998 disappearance of Quanne Diec.

"Tarantino ... did entice away and detain Quanne Diec, with intent to hold her for ransom, and caused her a substantial injury," court documents revealed on Monday.

Tarantino is accused of murdering Quanne sometime between 6.30am and 7pm on the same day that he allegedly grabbed her, according to the papers.

It was also revealed that when Tarantino was arrested at Surry Hills police station on Sunday he was allegedly in possession of a 35cm kitchen knife without a "reasonable excuse".

During his brief appearance in court, Tarantino said his brother and partner were murdered "in retaliation for what I've done" despite his lawyer advising him against speaking.

Tarantino will remain in custody ahead of an appearance at Parramatta Local Court in January.

Meanwhile detectives are searching a Granville home for Quanne's remains.

Investigators want to "bring Quanne home to her mum and dad and put her to rest", Superintendent Scott Whyte said on Monday.

Quanne hasn't been seen since she left her family home in Granville in Sydney's west on that fateful Monday.

She was heading to the Clyde train station on her way to Strathfield Girls High School but never arrived.

Early on in the investigation, Quanne was feared to have been abducted but her disappearance was not reported to police for about 10 hours because the school believed she was probably sick at home, while her family thought she was at school.

Then-premier Bob Carr offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to the location of the schoolgirl, who would now be 30.

During the investigation Detective Inspector Brad Cox said police had hypnotised witnesses, set up mannequins, and drained and searched a nearby waterway, Duck Creek, but failed to come up with answers.

The Diec family, who has searched for years for the schoolgirl, has been told of the man's arrest.

Tarantino has been "a person of interest in this investigation for 18 years", Supt Whyte told reporters.

Supt Whyte would not comment on whether the 49-year-old was stalking the schoolgirl.

He said Tarantino wasn't known to the family but the murder was not random.

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