A $1 million reward could temp a family member into revealing “the truth” about the 1998 bashing murder of a Manifold Heights man, according to investigators.
Homicide Detectives announced the reward this week on the 30th anniversary of Salvatore Rotiroti’s death.
One of Mr Rotiroti’s three sons discovered the father-of-five’s body in the family driveway soon after midnight on 6 September.
Detectives believed that the concreter, born in Italy’s Calabria, was assaulted two hours earlier.
He lived in the home with his wife and all five children.
Police charged a 21-year-old man with Mr Rotiroti’s murder three weeks later but eventually withdrew the charges.
The man remained “a person of interest in this investigation”, Victoria Police said.
Money and family matters were high on police suspicious of “several different motivations” for the murder, said Detective Inspector Tim Day.
“We strongly believe that the person responsible for Salvatore’s death was motivated by financial gain, however this may not be the only reason,” Det Insp Day said.
“It appears that someone may have also been trying to take control of his family in some way.
“We believe that Salvatore’s family has direct knowledge of what happened to him and why.
“Police also believe that several members of Salvatore’s family have crucial information regarding the circumstances of his death and those responsible.
“We are appealing directly to those people to come forward and help us solve this murder.
“However, while there are no other known suspects at this time, detectives are not ruling anything out in this investigation.
“This includes the possibility that a number of people were involved in planning and carrying out Salvatore’s murder.”
Det Insp believed that “people out there” 30 years later still had information critical to the investigation.
“We’re hoping that by announcing a $1 million dollar reward today, some people may be motivated to finally come forward and tell us the truth about why this murder happened and who was involved.
“Thirty years is a long time to think about why you might be covering up for someone and if that is still worth it.
“I would strongly encourage anyone with information to come forward and speak to police now because as the reward shows, this investigation is far from over.”
The reward of up to $1 million would be paid “at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner” if it led to an arrest and conviction, Victoria Police said.
The Director of Public Prosecutions could also consider granting indemnification from prosecution to anyone who helped identify the “principal offender or offenders”.
Police urged anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit a confidential crime report at crimestoppers.com.au.