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Sister of teenage girl murdered in 1973 vows to finally find justice

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 24/10/2020 Andrew Prentice For Daily Mail Australia
a man and a woman looking at the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The sister of a teenage girl murdered almost 50 years ago refuses to give up hope the killer will one day face justice.

Michelle Riley, 16, and her best friend, Gabriele Jahnke, 19, were last seen getting out of a taxi near the Brisbane CBD about 10am on October 6 in 1973.

A week later, two children stumbled upon Ms Jahnke's body in an embankment off the Pacific Highway at Ormeau.

a person posing for the camera: 16-year-old Michelle Riley (pictured) was murdered just before her 17th birthday in 1973 © Provided by Daily Mail 16-year-old Michelle Riley (pictured) was murdered just before her 17th birthday in 1973 a woman looking at the camera: Her best friend, 19-year-old Gabriele Jahnke (pictured) also perished - the murder of both Brisbane women remains unsolved © Provided by Daily Mail Her best friend, 19-year-old Gabriele Jahnke (pictured) also perished - the murder of both Brisbane women remains unsolved

On October 23, Ms Riley's body was found behind broken bushes off the Mount Tamborine Highway, south of Logan Village – roughly 25km away.


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At the time, Queensland Police said both women more than likely met their fate at the hands of a  'frenzied maniac' when hitchhiking.

Tracey Riley is now 55, and her quest for sibling justice hasn't wavered.

'We buried Michelle on her 17th birthday, she would have been 64 on Thursday,' she told the Courier Mail.

'I often wonder if our grandkids would have played together, things like that just make it so hard.

'We always thought it would come out, but it is getting so long, like 47 years. Is there anyone alive that knows?'

Ms Riley's devastated her close-knit family.

Her grieving mother suffered a nervous breakdown after the murder, and her older brothers turned to alcohol. Her older sister suffered from drug addiction.

A Queensland Police spokesman confirmed the homicide investigation into the murder of remains open, with a $250,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person responsible for the murders.

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