Keith Lees … may be in regional Qld (Photo: QPS)

November 17, 2023

Cold case detectives invetigating the 1997 murder of a Queensland woman have launched a campaign to locate a suspect who could be hiding out in regional Queensland

An arrest warrant was issued in July for Keith Lees in relation to the 1997 murder of Meaghan Louise Rose, 25, on the Sunshine Coast.

Meaghan’s body was found at the base of the Point Cartwright cliffs at Mooloolaba on July 18, 1997.

Homicide detectives visited a Victorian address on June 25 to speak to Mr Lees as part of the investigation.

The following day his vehicle was located abandoned at Portland.

CCTV identified he was in Port Fairy on June 26, before being sighted in Waurn Ponds (Geelong) and Shepparton on June 27.

There have been no further confirmed sightings since but investigators believe he may be seeking casual work in the farming and fruit picking industries in rural and regional areas of Australia.

As part of ongoing efforts to locate Mr Lees, detectives have launched a campaign with digital posters across public transport sites to appeal to the public for any information in relation to his whereabouts.

Simultaneously, detectives are following up on further lines of inquiry, re-contacting all known associates of Mr Lees.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said investigators were particularly appealing to regional and rural Australians to be vigilant regarding new people in their town.

“It is likely Keith Lees has changed his appearance and is using a false name,” Det Snr Sgt Kentwell said.

“We urge those in our regional communities to take a moment and consider if any men new to town since June, who have similar features or characteristics, may be Mr Lees and to immediately report that information to police.

“Any information, no matter how small or insignificant, could mean the closure of an investigation 26 years in the making and bring closure to Meaghan’s family.”


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