It’s been over 15 years since Simon Knight first went missing after spending the night at the City Crown Motel where he was last seen on July 21, 2005. Simon was a gay man living in Sydney at the time of his disappearance and did not arrive for his shift at a café in Newtown later that day. On Friday November 6, 2020 the New South Wales Police announced that they would be increasing the previous reward of $100,000 to $250,000.

South Sydney Police Area Commander, Superintendent Andrew Holland informed Star Observer that “the idea behind increasing the reward is to generate interest in an investigation we’ve hit a roadblock in.”

“Simon, from all reports, was a member of the gay community who was well liked,” Superintendent Holland told Start Observer before stating that there were “no obvious signs that there were any thoughts of self-harm. It’s really concerning… He just appears to have dropped from the planet.”

Bob Knight, Simon’s father, spoke with Star Observer about how Simon was well liked and happy. “His nickname was smiley at school”, Mr Knight stated.

Simon’s mother Robyn Conlan told Star Observer that “He [Simon] was very generous, in so so many ways” and that “I miss him… incredibly.”

“He was an avid reader” she stated, and recalled taking him to see plays when Simon was younger. “He was very bright” Ms Conlan said fondly. Simon was looking at changing career at the time of his disappearance, as he had “always loved horticulture” according to Mr Knight.

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 Both Ms Conlan and Mr Knight stated that they no longer believe Simon is still alive, despite the investigation continuing as a missing persons case. Mr Knight stated that after a second coronial inquest into Simon’s disappearance in 2015, it was concluded that Simon had probably died, and a death certificate was issued the next year.

Mr Knight told Star Observer his son had come home from work one day “changed” before he “jumped on his bike” then stayed at the City Crown Motel, after which he went missing the next day.

Despite this, Superintendent Holland has stated that the case is still being treated as a missing persons case. Superintendent Holland informed Star Observer that there was “nothing unusual about his [Simon Knight’s] life. He appeared to have a happy and normal life up to the point that he disappeared.” Superintendent Holland is hopeful that increasing the reward for information about Simon’s disappearance will prompt people “to cast their minds back to 2005… people that frequent that area may remember something.”

“If my child disappeared, I’d be distraught,” Superintendent Holland stated. “It would be nice to give his parents some closure/”

Ms Conlan informed Star Observer that both she and Mr Knight “were really pleased” that the reward was increased. She stated that her son was well known in the Sydney area, and is hopeful that somebody can come forward with information.

At the time of his disappearance, Simon was described, according to the NSW police, “as being of Caucasian appearance, 183cm tall, with blue eyes, a fair complexion, red hair and facial hair.” According to NSW Police, Simon was wearing a dark green t-shirt and blue jeans when he was last seen.

Anyone with information can contact South Sydney Police Area Command or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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