Fiona Burns' body was found in a truck parking bay along the Western Highway near Kaniva. Photo: Craig Abraham
AN ELDERLY couple searching for gum nuts in the bush found the decomposing body of 15-year-old Fiona Burns.
She lay face down near the eucalyptus trees, her maroon mohawk haircut showing at the back of her head. Police arrived to find the body of 14-year-old John Lee 50 metres away.
Fiona had been stabbed multiple times and John had a stab wound to his chest.
The grisly scene confronted police at a truck parking bay along the Western Highway near Kaniva in far western Victoria, 20 years ago today.
Police have used the anniversary to appeal to the public for information about the murders, in a bid to give the families closure.
Despite an exhaustive investigation, including a $100,000 reward for information announced by police in 1992, the case has never been solved.
Fiona and John were street kids. After her parents separated in 1990, Fiona shared a caravan with a friend, in the backyard of Fiona's aunt and uncle's house in Langwarrin, near Frankston.
Fiona and her friend began to fight, and Fiona left a note saying ''thank you, love you all, I'll be right'', and caught a train to Adelaide.
After only five days in Adelaide, Fiona returned to Melbourne to stay with her father, saying street life wasn't what she thought it would be. Despite this, she stayed with her father only long enough to have a sleep, a shower, and do her washing, and she left, for the second time, for Adelaide.
It was on this second trip that Fiona met John, a street kid from South Australia.
Fiona's aunt, Annette Cameron, told the Sunday Herald Sun in 2000 that Fiona wrote to her father saying she was coming back to Melbourne, leaving Adelaide on October 9, 1990. The last sighting of the pair was on October 10 at a truck stop east of Bordertown, South Australia. They were found dead about a week later.
Detectives found little more than a few meal vouchers from an Adelaide welfare agency in the teenagers' pockets.
At the time, homicide squad detective sergeant Rod Wilson told The Age he believed the pair had been murdered elsewhere, then dumped in the scrub about 30 metres from the Western Highway. There had been no attempt to conceal the bodies.
Detective Senior Constable Paul Bubb, of the homicide squad, said in a statement yesterday: ''The families have suffered for 20 years, not knowing what happened to their loved one. We know someone in the community has information, someone can help solve this crime, and we ask them to contact police.''
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.