Born 1957 21 years old when missing
Fair hair, blue eyes, thin build, 168cm tall
Stephen was reported missing in September, 1978 to Darlinghurst Police. Last seen in Paddington, Sydney. He has made no contact with his family since then. There are concerns for his welfare.
This account of Stephen came from his friend and Support After Murder Australia co ordinator Peter Rolfe -
"I met him in about 1974, he was up in Sydney from Canberra and as I lived on my own, I was asked if he could stay with me till he found somewhere to live. He was a great guy and I continued to see him around "the traps". He was mad about horticulture and would amaze me with his botanical knowledge including the botanical names for plants. He opened a plant shop/florist in Edgecliff and was a regular on the "John Laws Show". One day he just disappeared off the face of the earth.
Ironically my friend Stephen Dempsey who I met in 1978 when he was 18 was also mad about horticulture and had similar knowledge to Stephen J...of course Stephen D was missing for 5 months and sadly had been murdered. In 1995 I was in Martin Place and as it was Missing Persons Week, they had a stand of missing persons photos including Stephen J's. I approached the police and told them I knew him and they said they would contact me the next week to go through Sj's address book, and I made a statement.
Ironically also Stephen D disappeared at the start of missing persons week 1994. On the preceding Sunday, he said to his housemates "How can people just go missing?????"
The family of a man whose suspicious disappearance from Sydney's east almost four decades ago went unsolved, have made a tearful appeal for information and joined with police to announce a large reward.
The New South Wales Government has offered $100,000 for information relating to the disappearance of Stephen 'Boppa' Jelfs, from the Paddington area in April 1978.
A coronial inquest in 2009 found that Jelfs would be deceased, but that the cause of his death was unknown.
Jelfs was last seen on April 24, 1978 near his florist shop Boppa's Plant Gallery in Sutherland Street in Paddington.
The 21-year-old was a popular and social member of Sydney's gay community, a well-known local businessman, and a loving son, partner and brother.
Originally from Canberra, he moved to Sydney at the age of 16.
His sister Lynette Price wiped away tears as she described him as her "best friend" and urged anyone with even the slightest piece of information to call police.
"Could they please come forward? Our family needs some sort of closure we need to know what happened to him," Ms Price said.
"[The pain] never goes away, it's there with me every day."
A body has never been found, but the cold case is being looked at by the Homicide Squad's Unsolved Homicide Team.
"The circumstances of Mr Jelfs' disappearance are suspicious and we believe he met with foul play," Detective Chief Inspector John Lehmann said.
"We have information to support that, but we don't have the evidence we need to bring any people to justice or have persons charged.
"Today's reward is basically to provide that incentive for people [with information] to come forward."
Police said Jelfs had been acting in "a nervous and agitated manner" in the months leading up to his disappearance, which was totally out of character.
He had also begun associating with a drug dealer and possibly organised crime figures from the Sydney area who were involved in drug trafficking.
"There's no suggestion at all that Stephen Jelfs was involved in organised crime, the information we have is that some of the people that Stephen associated with from time to time were possibly involved with organised crime," Detective Chief Inspector Lehmann said.
Jelfs' father Neville Jelfs said his son once told him he was worried someone might come after him.
"He said if anything ever happens to me so-and-so will be the person responsible," Mr Jelfs said.
"He named the person who he felt would be responsible and that person was a criminal who had moved out of Melbourne [and] introduced himself into the Sydney crime scene in a big way."
Police said their investigation is looking into a number of people who were in Jelfs' life in the late seventies.
Mr Jelfs said he was sure his son's other associates and friends from that time would be able to help detectives solve the case.
"If you've got any piece of information at all that might be of assistance in the investigation, don't keep your mouth shut," Mr Jelfs said.
CRIME figures in Sydney’s eastern suburbs from the 1970s may hold the key to solving the disappearance of a Paddington florist more than three decades ago.
A $100,000 reward has been offered for anyone with information linked to missing person Stephen Jelfs, who was last seen in April 1978.
Unsolved Homicide team investigators believe the 21-year-old, who was associating with organised crime figures before his disappearance, met with foul play.
Mr Jelfs family today welcomed the announcement of the reward for information relating to the disappearance of their son.
“I hope the reward will bring someone or something out to solve this matter which has haunted my family and myself for 38 years,” Stephen’s father, Neville Jelfs, said.
Originally from Canberra, Mr Jelfs had moved to Sydney at age 16 and set up a florist and plant store in Paddington.
He was just 21 when he went missing from the apartment he shared with his partner at Sutherland St, Paddington, on 24 April 1978. He has not been seen since.
Detective Chief Inspector John Lehmann from the Unsolved Homicide Team said his partner last saw him at the address on the day he vanished.
“He was a keen traveller, having travelled to Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. He was also a member of Sydney’s gay community,” Det Chief Insp Lehman said.
Police were told Mr Jelfs had been nervous and agitated in the months prior to his disappearance, which was out of character for him.
They were also advised he had been associating with a person believed to be involved in the supply of prohibited drugs.
A Coronial Inquest in 2009 found that he was deceased, but that the cause of his death remained unknown.
Extensive inquiries have been conducted by police, but the circumstances surrounding Mr Jelfs’ disappearance and death, including if there are suspicious circumstances, remain unknown.
The Homicide Squad is hoping the reward being offered by the NSW Government will be an incentive for someone to come forward, as are the family of Mr Jelfs who have travelled to Sydney for the announcement.
The reward of up to $100,000 is available for information that leads to the conviction of a person or people responsible for the death of Stephen Jelfs.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.