National

Accused cold-case killer behind bars

By AAP Newswire

A man accused of murdering an unemployed Brisbane construction worker more than two decades ago will remain behind bars.

Police allege Mark Stephen Murphy killed Gregory James Thurlow in north Brisbane during the early hours of October 2, 1996.

The 59-year-old was remanded in custody during a brief mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Defence lawyer Daniel Hannay told reporters outside the court that Murphy would be defending the murder charge.

"It's obviously a long, drawn-out, protracted investigation," he said.

"There had been investigations ongoing, there were some issues back in 2008 with some things going on and then prior to that, the disappearance. So my client was somewhat surprised.

"The brief of evidence no doubt will be enormous and take some time for it to be delivered to us."

Earlier, police said Mr Thurlow had been much loved by his family and friends.

"Greg was 27 years of age when he disappeared leaving behind his parents, brother, sister and extended family," Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell told reporters on Wednesday.

"Sadly Greg's parents Jean and James are no longer with us."

Mr Thurlow was last seen leaving a Bray Park home in a green 1980 VC Holden Commodore sedan with the accused man late on October 1, 1996.

Police say the pair stopped along Anzac Avenue in Mango Hill where they got out of the car.

Detectives allege Mr Thurlow was murdered shortly after.

A $500,000 reward remains on offer for further information leading to a conviction.

Murphy was remanded in custody to return to court on October 19 for mention.