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28 Years On, This Indigenous Teen's Killer Has Never Been Found

"No one cared about a dead Aboriginal teenage boy."

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Don Craigie, the uncle of an Indigenous teenage boy who was found dead on railway tracks in regional New South Wales in 1988, has made a desperate plea to the public for information to help solve the mystery.

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

"After 28 years we are asking the government to post a reward, asking the police to fully investigate what happened to our boy, my nephew," an emotional Craigie told BuzzFeed News in Tamworth.

Mark Haines was 17-years-old when he was found dead in January 1988 on railway tracks outside of the regional city of Tamworth in north-western New South Wales.

Haines had said goodbye to his girlfriend at around 3:30am, a train driver discovered his body on the tracks hours later.

Despite massive head trauma, there was only a spot of blood the size of a 50 cent piece at the scene and a stolen car was found nearby.

The death was ruled suspicious and two subsequent coronial inquests returned open findings, failing to identify what caused Haines' injuries.

In 2001, a witness came forward saying she had seen a group of men earlier that night around the stolen car.

This led police to reopen the investigation, but despite their appeals for information, no one has come forward.

The death remains a cold case and Haines' family has always maintained that he was murdered.

"I made a promise that until the day I die I would fight for justice for my nephew and find out what happened to our boy," Craigie says.

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

Craigie has fought tirelessly to solve the case ever since he had to identify Haines' body.

The Gomeroi elder has long lobbied the state government to post a reward for information and had made a promise to the teen's now deceased parents to solve the mystery.

"I promised Mark's parents before they died that I would find out what happened. So many things don't add up," he said.

"The stolen car was not fingerprinted and most evidence at the scene was actually collected by the family and handed to the police. The statements from those with Mark that night lack detail," Craigie said.

"It's sad but no one cared about a dead Aboriginal teenage boy in Tamworth in the late eighties".

Craigie told BuzzFeed News that he's worried he could die before solving the case, saying there is no one else to carry on his quest for justice.

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

"In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be waiting so long to know what happened to our boy".

"After going through two coronial inquests and numerous police consultations about where they’re up too it looks like we’re at a standstill and I just want a resolution".

"Someone has to know something, please for the sake of our family come forward and do the right thing," Craigie says.

If you have any information on the death of Mark Haines please call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at arielle.benedek+AC@buzzfeed.com.

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