PHOTOS: Search underway to solve M'boro cold case murder
FRESH leads in the cold case murder of Gregory Armstrong have sparked a new search of Tuan Forest, near Maryborough.
This is after the Homicide Squad set up a post in Hervey Bay two weeks ago to carry out "targeted inquiries" with locals.
Police and an army of SES volunteers began combing through bushland on Wednesday looking for clues to help solve the mystery.
Mr Armstrong was 30-years-old and working as a painter in Maryborough when he was reported missing by his landlord on May 7, 1997.
Tuan Forest was first searched in 2006 but no body or key evidence was found.
New information has caused detectives to return to the dense pine forest between the fishing village of Poona and Maryborough.
Police divers and specialised dogs from Brisbane are part of the operation which is expected to continue on Thursday.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant David Guild of the Wide Bay Criminal Investigations told reporters yesterday police were optimistic answers in the 31-year cold case were in the forest.
"A number of persons are linked to his disappearance and we've been conducting inquiries with those people over the last few weeks," Snr Sgt Guild said.
"In light of new information that's come forward in the last couple of weeks, we've decided to go back and search some of the areas again and look at some areas in relation to the information that's been received.
"We're hoping to find significant evidence in the forest that will lead to the conviction of an offender, or offenders.
"It's important we take as many of these people to court as we can."
The potential witness list has grown since police renewed their appeal for information earlier this month but detectives hope others will still come forward.
"In many cases, (people) don't realise that the information they hold could be utilised in some way," he said.
"As the links come together, people realise that they were there on that day or have heard something in a conversation."
A reward of $250,000 remains in place for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
There is also an offer of indemnity against prosecution for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the murder, who is first to come forward.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444. Information about crime can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000.