Police puzzled after young chef 'disappears off face of the earth'

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

A reward for information about the disappearance of an inner Sydney chef 15 years ago has more than doubled, with the man's family admitting they do not believe he's still alive.

Simon Knight, 32, was last seen at a Surry Hills hotel on July 21, 2005. He was reported missing after failing to turn up for his shift at a Newtown cafe later that day.

Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon was unable to confirm in 2008 whether Mr Knight was dead or alive following an inquest but it was deemed unlikely he had died.

32-year-old Sydney man, Simon Knight who was last seen in Surry Hills, Sydney in 2005. Source: AAP
32-year-old Sydney man, Simon Knight who was last seen in Surry Hills, Sydney in 2005. Source: AAP

The NSW government on Friday lifted its reward for information on Mr Knight's whereabouts from $100,000 to $250,000, hoping to track him down.

Police believe someone in the community may know more about his disappearance, but said on Friday Mr Knight hadn't accessed his bank account after July 21 or used any facilities, and his bicycle was never recovered.

Superintendent Andrew Holland also said Mr Knight was well-liked generally and among colleagues, and detectives had run out of avenues of investigation.

"Basically he's just disappeared off the face of the earth," Supt Holland told reporters.

Cars drive on a street in Surry Hills in Sydney.
Simon Knight was last seen in Surry Hills, and was reported missing when he didn't show up for his shift at a cafe in Newtown a day later. Source: Google Maps

Robyn Conlan, Mr Knight's mother, said in a statement on Friday her family desperately wanted answers and was hopeful the increased reward would help.

"Of course we are extremely grateful for this opportunity to - hopefully - find out once and for all what occurred all those years ago," Ms Conlan said.

She later admitted to reporters she didn't believe Mr Knight - who she labelled as generous, cheerful and a lover of gardening - was still alive.

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