“We hope someone will come forward and take advantage of this and help us all find peace.”
Ms Davison disappeared when her son Luke, whom she was dedicated to, was just two years old.
She was working as a stripper at the time of her disappearance and left a Dandenong strip club with a colleague about 10.50pm on February 18, 1995.
The pair headed to a sporting club in Croydon and then to the Mentone Hotel, where they remained with Ms Davison’s boyfriend until about 1am. Ms Davison and her boyfriend then went to a home in Hampton for an hour before catching a taxi to Crown Casino until about 2am.
At 7am, her boyfriend left the casino. It’s believed she left about 40 minutes later and travelled by taxi to her home in Footscray.
Detectives have been able to establish that between 12pm and 2pm, Ms Davison went to a public phone box on Ballarat Road in Footscray where she made two calls.
One was to her employer confirming she would be attending work that night; the other was to her boyfriend, who she arranged to meet so she could pick up some belongings including her phone charger.
She never arrived at work that night and has not been heard from or seen since. A key line of inquiry for police is a car that was seen driving into the service station before someone in the vehicle spoke to Ms Davison.
Police believe Ms Davison was murdered and have increased the reward for information from $50,000 to $1 million.
Ms Davison worked for the same agency as jailed former stripper Robyn Lindholm, who has been found guilty of murdering two of her former lovers – gym owner Wayne Amey in 2013, and George Templeton, also known as George Teazis, who went missing in May 2005 and whose body has never been found.
Ms Davison knew Lindholm, and lived at the time in Footscray with an associate of Mr Templeton.
Mr Templeton, a former senior member of a Richmond-based gang, was named at the 2001 inquest into the disappearance of Ms Davison as having at one time put a gun to a woman’s head during a discussion about drugs.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper from the missing persons squad said despite the passage of time, the investigation into Ms Davison’s disappearance was still very active.
“It was a murky bunch of people she was involved in and we don’t want to try and hide from the fact she had her challenges in her life and was doing what she had to do to try and support herself and support her son,” he said.
“Sadly it’s a pretty sordid situation with a number of people of questionable repute involved but as I say we focus on Shari as a mother, a daughter.
“My firm belief would be that people associated with that group would know what happened to her… A lot has been written in the media about this particular group, but we need someone who is going to come forward and fill in the gaps 25 years down the track.”
A number of people have been spoken to by police over the years over the suspected murder and there are several persons of interest in the case.
Detective Inspector Stamper said the No. 1 priority was to get information for her family, who have been grappling with their “ambiguous grief” for more than two decades.
Ms Davison’s elderly parents said their daughter deserved to be remembered “with love”.
“We, her parents, are moving toward the end of our lives now, and we are running out of time to find the answers we desperately need,” they said.
“The most torturing and heartbreaking part of all this is that her young son, Luke, and her sister Cheryl will still have to go on living with this horrible ‘unknown-ness’ for the rest of their lives too – unless someone has enough compassion, and strength, to come forward and explain what happened.
Statement from Shari’s parents Sandra and Tom Davison
Although it’s now been over 25 years, never a day goes by without us thinking about Shari – without us missing her, without us wondering what happened to her. We, her parents, are moving toward the end of our lives now, and we are running out of time to find the answers we desperately need. The most torturing and heartbreaking part of all this is that her young son Luke, and her sister Cheryl, will still have to go on living with this horrible “unknown-ness” for the rest of their lives too – unless someone has enough compassion, and strength, to come forward and explain what happened. We will all love Shari forever, but love doesn’t give us any peace – we desperately need answers so Shari, and all of us, can finally rest peacefully. Shari was a beautiful, vibrant young lady and an extremely loving mother to her young son Luke. She deserves to be remembered only with love, and not with all the uncertainties that surround her memory at present. We can’t make that happen for her – but someone can. So we are extremely grateful to the Victorian police and the Victorian government for this increased reward. We hope someone will come forward and take advantage of this – and help us all find peace.
“We will all love Shari forever, but love doesn’t give us any peace – we desperately need answers so Shari, and all of us, can finally rest peacefully.”
They described the 27-year-old as a “beautiful, vibrant young lady” who was “an extremely loving mother” to her young son Luke.
“She deserves to be remembered only with love, and not with all the uncertainties that surround her memory at present. We can’t make that happen for her – but someone can.”
They expressed their gratitude to the police and government for the increase in the reward.
A reward will be paid at the discretion of the chief commissioner for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Ms Davison.
Anyone with information about the murder of Shari Davison is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.