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Catching a killer – the unsolved murder of Brett Winn

Posted on 16/11/2019

It has now been 30 years since Brett Winn was murdered, and his loved ones are still waiting for justice.

The 24-year-old was last seen on the night of November 16, 1989.

His fiancé saw him get into a late-model white Ford sedan at their home on The Esplanade at Port Noarlunga about 8pm. It was being driven by an unknown male.

Brett rang her later that night to say he would be home soon but was never seen or heard from again.

Adding to the mystery, the Hallett Cove Foodland supermarket where he worked was robbed — and with a PIN code used to gain entry and keys used to open the safe there was little doubt that it was an inside job.

Almost $60,000 in cash was stolen, and with the sudden unexplained disappearance of Brett occurring at the same time a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the robbery.

With no clues as to is whereabouts and little to go on with the case, information received in 1997 thanks to a public appeal suggested that he had in fact been murdered.

The information led police to believe that Brett was part of a three-man gang suspected of several robberies on supermarkets in the southern suburbs shortly before he was murdered.

In 1999, police identified two suspects – David Christopher Cox and a second man who cannot be identified for legal reasons – and declared the case a major crime.

Both suspects were interviewed and while they conceded they knew Brett, they denied any knowledge of his murder or involvement in the Foodland robbery.

In 2002 a person contacted police and told them that Brett’s body had been initially dumped on the side of the road at Cape Jervis, but then had been taken a few days to Cox’s house at Hackham West.

When investigators excavated under the floorboards of a bedroom on 1 February 2002 they found Brett’s skeletal remains inside a surf bag.

While Cox was charged with murder, he was acquitted by a jury in the Supreme Court in 2004. Cox would commit suicide a number of years later.

While the murder of Brett Winn remains unsolved, the third member of the supermarket robbery crew remains a suspect — but more information is needed to finally resolve the case.

A reward of up to $200,000 is on offer to anyone who provides information leading to a conviction in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at


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