Mother shocked at Broome murder charge
Josh Warneke was found dead on the Broome Highway after a night out with friends. Picture: Supplied

The mother of a young man found dead on the side of the road in Broome more than two years ago has spoken of her confidence police would solve the mystery of his death, after they charged a man with her son’s murder yesterday.

“I was always confident it was going to be resolved, but still when you get the call, you’re stunned and you’re shocked, it brings it straight back like it was just yesterday,” Ingrid Bishop said this morning.

Joshua Warneke, 21, was found with massive head injuries beside the Old Broome Highway on February 26, 2010, by a taxi driver.

His death sparked a massive investigation involving detectives and officers from the West Australian Major Crime Squad. In February the State Government offered a $100,000 reward for information about the incident.

Police yesterday charged Gene Gibson, 21, with Mr Warneke’s murder, but have not ruled out other people being involved.

Ms Bishop said she felt some relief following the charges, describing the last two and a half years as “terrible”, but said the family could never have complete closure.

“Closure? What’s closure? You never get closure on something like this,” she said.

“What it will do is ensure that we get justice for Josh and the facts can come forward. It will be closure for major crime and for detectives and perhaps for the Broome community but never for the family, we will just continue to learn to live without Josh physically in our lives.”

Detective Superintendent Paul Coombes said inquiries were continuing and he urged members of the community to come forward if they had any information about the incident.

Ingrid Bishop speaks to the media today. Picture: Rebecca Trigger/The West Australian

Police had not been able to establish any connection between Mr Warneke and Mr Gibson, and currently do not have a “definitive motive”, Det. Supt. Coombes said.

Police received information from the public during the investigation, but no one had claimed the $100,000 reward offered, he said.

Mr Gibson, who appeared in court this morning, comes from Kiwirrkurra, about 600km south-east of Broome in the Gibson Desert.

The tiny community of just a few hundred people has been described as one of the most remote places in the world.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The West Australian

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