A senior detective investigating the suspected murder of Steven Fenwick says police believe certain people who know the missing man have been withholding information from authorities.
Detective Sergeant Jeff Little announced on Wednesday morning the NSW government had put up a $500,000 reward for information leading to a conviction over the suspected homicide of the 33-year-old, who vanished almost a year ago.
He told reporters in Newcastle that "certain people are concealing evil".
"Everything hidden will ultimately be found out," Detective Sergeant Little said.
"One thing is for certain, Steven didn't just evaporate into thin air.
"Police are keeping an open mind regarding the investigation, however there are strong indicators that people who knew Steven know far more about what's happened to him. Sadly, they just don't have the decency to say. Somebody needs to stand up for Steven."
Mr Fenwick was last seen leaving a bus on Nelson Bay Road at Fern Bay about 1pm on January 30, 2019.
He was reported missing the following day.
Investigators later found some of the 33-year-old's personal items in the sand dunes at Stockton beach, indicating he could have gone for a swim and possibly drowned.
But Detective Sergeant Little said on Wednesday it was believed those possessions were left there to throw police off the trail - Mr Fenwick would not have left them in such a manner and he would not have gone into the ocean alone given he had previously lost a loved one to drowning.
"Police are keeping an open mind regarding the investigation, however there are strong indicators that people who knew Steven know far more about what's happened to him - sadly, they just don't have the decency to say," he said.
Mr Fenwick's girlfriend Samantha Melville had been scheduled to speak publicly as part of Wednesday's appeal for information, but she did not appear.
In a statement, Mr Fenwick's mother Debbie urged anyone with information about the case to contact police.
"Every day without answers is another day of heartache and confusion - we just want to know what happened," she said.
"Please, if you know anything which may help detectives, it could make a world of difference."
Anyone who may have information about Mr Fenwick's disappearance is urged to contact Newcastle Police Station on (02) 4929 0999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be left anonymously for investigators using the Crime Stoppers hotline.
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