Nick Falos, then 55, was last seen on March 14, 2003 at around 8:30 am while driving his red Porsche down Albion Street in Brunswick.
His JD 944 registration Porsche coupe was later found burned in the Yarra State Forest at the intersection of Mt Beenak Road and Torbetts Road near Gladysdale three days later.
A concerned neighbor reported the Thornbury man missing on April 1 after not seeing him for several weeks.
Falos was also driving a 1975 brown Holden sedan that was found parked at his home.
Police conducted an exhaustive search in the bush near Gladysdale on May 16, 2003, but could not find him.
Detectives with the Missing Persons Squad are treating the man’s disappearance as a suspect and believe he has been murdered.
Investigators believe that a phone call was made from a public phone to Mr. Falos on the morning of March 15, 2003.
Police are investigating whether cannabis cultivation in the Yarra State Park and Yarra Junction areas is linked to his disappearance after receiving information from various sources around the time Mr. Falos disappeared.
Acting Detective Inspector Tony Combridge said that although police believe Nick was murdered, they were still looking for answers.
“It may have been 18 years since Nick’s disappearance, however I would like to strongly reinforce to the community that this is a very active investigation,” he said.
“While Nick is believed to be no longer alive, we are still hoping to find out what happened to him.
“We also believe that several people were potentially involved in Nick’s murder.”
Acting Detective Inspector Combridge said police believe there are several people who could help with the investigation.
Police are eager to speak with anyone who remembers seeing Mr. Falos or his red Porsche in the Yarra Junction area on March 15 or 16, 2003.
“There is a possibility that the person or persons responsible for his death have spoken to someone about Nick and today’s announcement of the reward may eventually lead them to come forward with information,” Combridge said.
“People’s circumstances can change over the years and someone who may not have wanted to provide information to the police before may now feel ready to do so.”
Police arrested a 77-year-old Endeavor Hills man in connection with Falos’ disappearance on August 17, 2018.
An 84-year-old man from Devon Meadows was also arrested on August 14 of the same year.
However, both were released without charge.
Mr. Falos is of Greek descent and also goes by the name of Nikolaos Falieros.
Investigators have posted photos of Mr. Falos and a vehicle similar to his Porsche in hopes that someone will remember seeing him or the car.
A reward of up to $ 1 million will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Mr. Falos.
The Director of the Public Ministry may also consider awarding prosecution damages to anyone who provides information on the identity of the main offender or offenders involved.
“No matter how insignificant you think the information is, it could be exactly what our researchers need to make a breakthrough in this case,” Combridge said.