The bodies of 15 year old Fiona Burns and 14 year old John Lee found dumped near the SA – Victoria border.
At approximately 9.30am on the 18th of October 1990, the bodies of 15 year old Fiona Burns and 14 year old John Lee were discovered at truck stop rest area off the Western Highway near Kaniva. Both bodies were clothed and laying in light scrub in a state of decomposition. Post-mortem examinations revealed that both Fiona and John had been stabbed to death.
What we do know, is that on the 27th September 1990, Miss Burns left home and appears to have caught the train to Adelaide from Melbourne. At some point after this she began associating with John, who had been living on the streets in Adelaide for some two years.
Between the 9th and 11th of October 1990, there were numerous reported and confirmed sightings of the two teenagers hitchhiking between Adelaide and Bordertown. On the 11th of October 1990, a canvas bag and various items belonging to Fiona were located on the side of the Western Highway approximately 10km east of the truck stop.
At approximately 9.30am on the 18th of October 1990, members of the public arrived at a truck stop rest area off the Western Highway 1.6kms east of the Victoria - South Australia border and soon after discovered the body of Fiona Burns. Police attended and discovered the body of John Lee, approximately 54 metres from that of Fiona Burns.
Despite an extensive and exhaustive investigation over the past three decades, police have not established a clear motive as to why Fiona and John were killed.
A number of people have also been interviewed by police during that time, however no one has been charged in relation to their deaths. If you were in the area of Bordertown and Kaniva between 9th of September and 18th of October 1990, and recall any details that may be pertinent to this case, please contact Homicide Squad.
Homicide Squad detectives believe we have the ability to solve this case, even after all this time. I’m asking anyone out there who does have any information about Fiona and John’s death, no matter what that information might be, to please come forward and speak to police. It is absolutely no less than their family deserves after all this time.
Homicide Squad detectives are continuing to appeal for information in relation to the murder of teenagers Fiona Burns and John Lee in 1990.
Fiona, then 15, and John, then 14, were last seen hitch hiking between Adelaide and Melbourne along the Western Highway between 9 and 11 October, 1990.
On 18 October that same year a husband and wife discovered the body of Fiona Burns at a truck parking bay between Kaniva and Bordertown, about 1.6km from the South Australian border.
The couple notified police, who found the body of John Lee nearby a short time later.
Examinations revealed that both Fiona and John had been stabbed to death.
Despite an exhaustive investigation over the past three decades and a number of public appeals, those responsible for Fiona and John’s deaths have never been found and the case remains unsolved.
In 2017 police also issued a $1 million reward for information in relation to the matter.
Investigators believe it is highly likely there are still people in the community who have information about what happened to the murdered pair and who is responsible.
Police have received a number of calls and pieces of information from both Victoria and South Australia over the years, however have not yet been able to make a breakthrough on the case.
Detectives are appealing for information Australia-wide, with the fact their bodies were found at a truck stop on an interstate highway giving rise to the possibility that the person or persons responsible may well have resided in any state or territory in Australia.
Police have released pictures of both Fiona and John.
Reviewed 29 June 2021