New appeal in Warneke murder investigation

West Australian detectives investigating the murder of Joshua Warneke in Broome in February 2010 are seeking the public’s help to identify a vehicle spotted near where his body was found and the driver.


Detectives have received new information about a white Toyota 79 Series Land Cruiser two-door, tray-top utility with a “BUNDY” novelty number plate and car flag poles on either side of the frame behind the cab.

Acting Detective Superintendent Pete Branchi said the ute drove along Short Street into Old Broome Road around the time of Mr Warneke’s death early on February 26, 2010.

“Despite all the publicity about this case since 2010, the driver of the LandCruiser has never come forward, so we are appealing for public assistance to identify the vehicle, its driver and any other occupants,” he said.

“Investigators believe the occupant, or occupants, of the LandCruiser saw Josh on Old Broome Road around the time of his death.”

Mr Warneke was seen about 2.45am walking at the intersection of Old Broome Road and Short Street, heading towards Roebuck Estate where he lived.

Just before 3pm, a taxi driver travelling on Old Broome Road spotted the 21-year-old lying on the side of the road.

The state government is offering a $250,000 reward for information about the murder, as well as recommending a pardon in some circumstances for anyone not directly involved in the death.

The relaunched investigation into Mr Warneke’s murder began in April after 25-year-old Aboriginal man Gene Gibson, who is from the remote desert community of Kiwirrkurra and is cognitively impaired, had his conviction for manslaughter quashed, having already spent almost five years behind bars.

Earlier this week, Attorney-General John Quigley told an estimates hearing an ex-gratia application for Mr Gibson was progressing.

Mr Gibson’s lawyers previously indicated they would seek $2.5 million in damages.