'1 million dollar reward'

SYDNEY: Australian police have posted a 1.0 million dollar (927,000 US) reward for a man suspected to have ordered the killing of a self-proclaimed vampire.

Police in the southeastern state of Victoria said Monday they had offered the bounty to help find Mark Adrian Perry who is wanted in relation to the 2003 murder of male prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott.

At the time of his death, Chartres-Abbott was on trial for allegedly raping a client and biting off part of her tongue.

He also allegedly told the woman, a former girlfriend of Perry's, that he was a centuries-old vampire who drank blood to survive.

Police Deputy Commissioner Ken Jones said that Perry, who is believed to have travelled overseas after learning he was wanted for questioning in relation to the murder, could be living anywhere in Australia.

"There are people out there who know where he is, they know when he fled, they know who he's associating with and that's why we're putting this amount of money to this particular individual, because we are keen to arrest him," Jones told reporters Sunday.

Chartres-Abbott was gunned down in broad daylight in front of his father and pregnant girlfriend in suburban Melbourne.

"The sort of wickedness that's been revealed in this case, it's uncommon, but I'm afraid it's not absolutely off the wall," Jones said when asked whether it was the most bizarre case he had seen.