Announced September 2007
Victoria Police is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Rocco Iaria, whose body was found at a Pine Lodge cemetery in 1998.
Mr Iaria’s remains were unearthed in an already occupied grave at Pine Lodge Cemetery.
Cemetery workers made the grim discovery whilst preparing the grave for a legitimate burial.
A post mortem examination revealed Mr Iaria had been shot, wrapped in plastic and doused in lime before being buried.
In August 1998 the then Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie announced a $50,000 reward for any information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Mr Iaria’s death.
However, despite extensive investigations by the Homicide Squad no charges have been laid.
When announcing the reward, Wodonga Senior Sergeant Barry McIntosh said he hoped the increased reward on the 16th anniversary of Mr Iaria's death would encourage people to come forward.
"Somebody out there knows what happened to Mr Iaria and I would appeal for them to come forward" Senior Sergeant McIntosh said.
"Sixteen years is a very long time for a family to live without knowing why this happened to their son and brother".
"Even the smallest piece of information could provide the missing piece of the puzzle that will enable us to successfully complete this investigation" he said.
Mr Iaria was last seen alive on Friday 6 September 1991 after telling a friend he was "going to see a few people about a few things".
Investigators believe he was probably killed on or close to this date and buried shortly after.
At the time he was on bail and due to appear at the Bendigo County Court for charges relating to a large burglary.
A reward of up to $100,000 will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police, for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Rocco Iaria.
The Director of Public Prosecutions will consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.
Reviewed 25 January 2023