Peter Falconio: Mother Joan begs for location of her son, boyfriend of Joanne Lees be revealed

A plea from the mother of murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio sparked a five-day police search for a source in the outback for his remains, more than two decades after he disappeared.

Joan Falconio, 75, has broken her long silence to beg for information about the location of her son’s body on what would have been his 50th birthday.

The grieving mother is still haunted by the loss of her son 21 years ago in the middle of the night on a remote stretch of road between Alice Springs and Darwin.

Peter and friend Joanne Lees were in a motor home when they were apprehended by drug runner Bradley Murdoch who shot Mr Falconio and attempted to kidnap Mrs Lees.

She managed to escape and hid in the bush for hours until she stopped a truck and sounded the alarm – but no trace of her friend’s body was ever found.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that in 2019 police emptied a well in the outback where it was feared Falconio’s body was dumped after a personal plea from his mother.

The mother of missing British backpacker Peter Falconio has broken her long silence to beg for the location of her son’s body on what would have been his 50th birthday

Peter and friend Joanne Lees were in a motor home when they were apprehended by drug runner Bradley Murdoch who shot Mr Falconio and attempted to kidnap Mrs Lees.

Peter and friend Joanne Lees were in a motor home when they were apprehended by drug runner Bradley Murdoch who shot Mr Falconio and attempted to kidnap Mrs Lees.

But the five-day search proved fruitless.

Now Ms. Falconio’s plea for information is backed up by a demand for the Northern Territory police to offer a $1 million reward to revive the hunt and end the mystery.

“We want to bring Peter home where he belongs, close to his family,” Peter’s mother said Friday. “Our pain is always with us. He was murdered 21 years ago, only 28 years old.

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“His life ended on a lonely road – the Stuart Highway on July 14, 2001. Shot and killed by cowardly Murdoch, who won’t reveal where or what he did to him.”

She added: ‘Peter has a beautiful niece and two sweet nephews whom he has never seen or known.

“I appeal to anyone with a conscience to help me—however small—to tell me where it’s been put.”

Joan Falconio (pictured with Peter's father Luciano) is still haunted by the loss of her son 21 years ago on a remote stretch of road between Alice Springs and Darwin

Joan Falconio (pictured with Peter’s father Luciano) is still haunted by the loss of her son 21 years ago on a remote stretch of road between Alice Springs and Darwin

Grieving mother's plea is backed by a demand for Northern Territory police to offer a $1 million reward for vital information about where her son's body is located

Grieving mother’s plea is backed by a demand for Northern Territory police to offer a $1 million reward for vital information about where her son’s body is located

Falconio and husband Luciano, 80, spoke out after reliving the tragedy on Peter’s 50th birthday on Tuesday, September 20.

Former girlfriend Joanne Lees is now 47 and lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, in the UK, and is still in touch with Peter’s parents.

The couple were on a tour of Australia in 2001 when Murdoch came alongside and motioned for them to stop, claiming flames were shooting out the back of their van.

When Mr. Falconio went around the back with Murdoch to inspect it, he was shot dead.

Murdoch then grabbed Mrs. Lees, tied her up with zip ties, and tucked her into the back of his ute.

Bradley Murdoch grabbed Joanne Lees, tied her up with zip ties and put her in the back of his ute

Bradley Murdoch grabbed Joanne Lees, tied her up with zip ties and put her in the back of his ute

Joanne Lees wriggled free when he discarded Mr Falconio's body and their van, and hid in the bush to avoid Murdoch's dog as he searched for her.

Joanne Lees wriggled free when he discarded Mr Falconio’s body and their van, and hid in the bush to avoid Murdoch’s dog as he searched for her.

She wriggled free as he threw away Mr Falconio’s body and their van, and hid in the bush to avoid Murdoch’s dog as he searched for her.

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Murdoch eventually gave up and drove off with Mr Falconio’s body before Mrs Lees pulled over a truck and was taken to a nearby roadhouse in Barrow Creek.

The police hunt for Mr Falconio and his killer then began 21 years ago and eventually led to Murdoch’s arrest after DNA from Ms Lees’ t-shirt matched his.

He is now serving life in Darwin Correctional Center after being convicted of the murder, but has refused to specify where he dumped Mr Falconio’s body.

Bradley Murdoch is said to have hidden the remains somewhere in the vast desert between Alice Springs and Broome, 1,700 km away in Western Australia.

Bradley Murdoch is said to have hidden the remains somewhere in the vast desert between Alice Springs and Broome, 1,700 km away in Western Australia.

Bradley Murdoch eligible for parole in 10 years - but won't go free without revealing the location of Peter Falconio's body under the NT's 'no body no release' laws

Bradley Murdoch eligible for parole in 10 years – but won’t go free without revealing the location of Peter Falconio’s body under the NT’s ‘no body no release’ laws

Murdoch will be eligible for parole within 10 years, but will never go free without revealing the location under the NT’s no body no release laws.

He is believed to have hidden the remains somewhere in the vast desert between Alice Springs and Broome, 1,700km away in Western Australia.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that in 2019 police emptied a well inland where it was feared Falconio’s body had been dumped but could find no trace of him.

Detectives were directed to the location at the Neutral Junction cattle station, about 1km from where Mr Falconio was shot after an eyewitness came forward to say he saw a ute like Murdoch’s there on the night of the attack.

A TV crew led by Today Tonight reporter Frank Pangallo – now a South Australian state politician for SA BEST Party – first explored the site in 2014, but the well contained 15 meters of water and was inaccessible.

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But police returned to the site in 2019 after a personal plea from Mr Falconio’s mother and conducted a full investigation… but turned up nothing.

“Mrs Falconio contacted me and asked if I could convince the NT police to search the well completely to eliminate the clue,” Mr Pangallo told the Daily Mail Australia.

“Then I arranged an affidavit from the eyewitness, a truck driver hired by the cattle station, and sent it to the NT senior police.

The NT police found him credible and emptied the well in a five-day operation in 2019, but unfortunately found nothing.

“It was the right thing for them to do and I can only commend their efforts.”

Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were on a tour of Australia in 2001 when Murdoch stood beside them and gave the signal to stop for his deadly attack

Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were on a tour of Australia in 2001 when Murdoch stood beside them and gave the signal to stop for his deadly attack

South Australian politician Frank Pangallo is now demanding that NT police offer a $1 million reward to entice someone to come forward with key information needed

South Australian politician Frank Pangallo is now demanding that NT police offer a $1 million reward to entice someone to come forward with key information needed

Pangallo is now demanding that NT police offer the $1 million reward to entice someone to come forward with the vital information needed.

“Murdoch does not have the nerve to confess his cowardly crime and he should rot behind bars if he is not willing to tell the truth about what he did or where he left Peter that night,” he added.

“Someone needs to know where Peter is or maybe he has information or memories that could be useful to the police, however insignificant they think it is.

“Joan, Luciano, Peter’s brothers – Mark, Nicholas and Paul – and their families deserve closure after all these years of grief and uncertainty.”

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