A 68-year-old man was arrested in Melbourne for the 1999 murder of Canberra grandmother Irma Palasics but was hospitalized due to a “heart condition” shortly after. The arrest marks a significant development in a decades-long investigation. The man, yet to be charged, was scheduled for an extradition hearing to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Wednesday afternoon. The hearing has been adjourned to Thursday.
Irma Palasics, 72, and her husband Gregor, 73, were brutally attacked when two men broke into their Canberra home on November 6, 1999. The assailants stole cash and jewelry before fleeing the scene. While Gregor was able to free himself and call the police, Irma succumbed to her injuries. A Reebok sneaker, believed to be worn by one of the culprits, was found at the crime scene and later publicized by the police in 2014. The couple had also been victims of burglaries in 1997 and 1998, which investigators believe are connected to the murder case.
Detective Superintendent Scott Moller of ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations vowed to continue their work until all perpetrators are apprehended. “I am confident it is only a matter of time before we have the second offender in custody and are able to provide full closure for the family and the Canberra community,” Moller stated.
The Palasics family expressed gratitude for the ongoing police efforts. “After nearly 24 years of pain, questioning, and uncertainty, we have never given up hope of finding out who was responsible for this heinous act,” said John Mikita, the couple’s grandson.
Authorities are offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to successful prosecution. Tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1800 333000.