| 07.08,20. 02:22 AM |
Teen forced into car at NSW shopping centre and never seen again
The family of a "bubbly" missing teenager who police fear met a grisly end have spoken for the first time in decades.
Gordana Kotevski was just 16 years old when she was forced into a car while walking from Charlestown Square Shopping Centre in Newcastle to her aunt's home.
She has not been seen since that night, walking along Powell Street about 9pm on Thursday November 24, 1994.
"She was my best friend, my little shadow," Gordana's sister Carolina said today.
"She was forever holding my hand wherever we'd go.
"She was just a bubbly joy to be around," Carolina said.
A 2003 coronial inquest into the teenager's disappearance found that she had most likely been murdered.
Her case is being highlighted this week as part of Missing Person's Week in NSW.
Gordana's aunt, Julie Talevski has released one of the last know photos of her in the hope someone remembers something.
"She was a bridesmaid in 1994. Young, joyous, innocent, she had the world at her feet," Ms Talevski said.
"The impact of Gordana's disappearance has taken its toll on her parents and siblings, extended family and friends. Missed special events bring with them a stark reminder of the emptiness felt by her disappearance. The passage of time has not made acceptance of the situation any easier.
"Please, if you know anything or can vaguely remember any information which could help detectives, call the police," Ms Talevski said.
In April 2019, Lake Macquarie detectives established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine her disappearance and suspected murder, along with two other missing Lake Macquarie teens – Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson.
"There are people in the community who have vital information which could help Strike Force Arapaima detectives solve this case," Lake Macquarie Police District Commander, Superintendent Danny Sullivan APM said.
"Anyone who lived in or would visit the Lake Macquarie area in late 1994, please cast your mind back and recall if you noticed a light-coloured utility in and around the area.
"It's been a quarter of a century of unknowns and heartache for Gordana's friends and family. Please, help us give them closure," Superintendent Sullivan said.