Reward of $500k for suspected NSW murder

Ashlea Witoslawski

A $500,000 reward has been announced for information about the disappearance and suspected homicide of Newcastle man Steven Fenwick whose clothes were found near a beach.

Steven James "Feno" Fenwick, 33, was last seen getting off a bus on Nelson Bay Road in Fern Bay about 1pm on January 30 last year.

His neatly folded clothes were subsequently found on sand dunes behind Stockton Beach.

But NSW Police don't believe the 33-year-old would have gone swimming by himself due to the fact a loved one had previously drowned.

Investigators believe Mr Fenwick instead "met with foul play", Detective Sergeant Jeff Little told reporters in Newcastle on Wednesday.

"Police are keeping an open mind ... however there are strong indicators that people who knew Steven know far more about what's happened to him.

"Sadly they just don't have the decency to say it (but) everything hidden will ultimately be found out."

The NSW government on Wednesday announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the 33-year-old's suspected homicide.

Det Sgt Little said police had undertaken extensive searches over the past 12 months using cadaver dogs and specialist divers to search waterways.

The victim was involved in the drug trade at a "low level", authorities say.

"Steven was like many people, he was just trying to make his way," Det Sgt Little said.

"If you're involved in the disappearance or death of Steven Fenwick, make no mistake, time and money will uncover what happened.

"There are now half-a-million more reasons to speak out and say what you know."

Mr Fenwick's mother, Debbie, also pleaded with the public for information which may lead to finding her son.

"Every day without answers is another day of heartache and confusion - we just want to know what happened," she said in a statement.