Police Offer $1 Million Reward Over 2006 Cold Case Murder

Police hope the lure of a $1 million dollar reward will help them solve a Shepparton cold case.

The family of stabbing victim Sebastiano Formica joined Victoria Police to appeal for information on the country pub brawl which claimed his life.

A $1 million dollar reward is on offer for new information which leads to charges being laid and a successful conviction.

Sebastiano was known to his friends as Sam, his family said. They described the forklift driver a loving husband and father to his two young sons.

In January of 2006, Sam joined two of his brothers to go out for a drink.

About 1am a fight broke out between two groups of men.

Police say the same two groups were involved in a fight at the same venue on New Year’s Eve.

Sam Formica wasn’t there on the night of the initial disagreement that led to bad blood between the two groups.

The 38-year-old was stabbed during the brawl, and died on the way to hospital.

Police haven’t found the murder weapon, but they know it was a 16 centimetre blade.

Sam's family still lives locally, but his sister Maria Nardella says she hadn’t been able to walk down that section of the street since.

“A lot of people have a lot of judgement but at the end of the day he didn’t go out to be killed,” she said.

Sam’s siblings say the hardest part for them has been the fact their brother missed out on raising his two sons.

The people of interest to police were all local to the area at the time of the brawl. Six were formally interviewed as part of the initial investigation, including two men who went to the Shepparton police station to report the incident.

Police have spent the last 12 months reviewing the case and have collected 93 witness statements. They say they’re now close to bringing the killer to to justice.

Contact the author: eosulliv@networkten.com.au