WARNING: Indigenous readers are advised that this article includes the names of people who have passed away.

The family of a man found dead in Adelaide’s CBD 40 years ago has spoken out ahead of the release of one of the men convicted of his murder. 

Stephen Docoza’s body was found floating in the River Torrens in April,1984. 

The South Australian Supreme Court found Derek Bromley and John Karpany guilty of his murder. 

Bromley’s co-accused was released on parole 20 years ago, in 2004, after admitting involvement in the murder.

Derek Bromley, reportedly the longest-serving Indigenous prisoner in the country, has always maintained his innocence.

Last month, Bromley was granted parole by the SA Parole Board. 

It followed other failed parole applications, and a failed High Court bid in December 2023 to re-open the case.

Family speaks out

In a statement released by South Australia’s Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Sarah Quick, Mr Docoza’s family spoke of the heartache experienced after his death. 

Stephen Docoza (right) pictured with his father.(Supplied)

“Stephen, raised single-handedly by his father Milenko after the untimely death of his wife, was a gentle soul who grew up to be a kind and hardworking man, cherished by his family and friends,” the statement read.

“The tragic aftermath of the crime left Stephen’s two children without a father and his partner so overwhelmed by grief that she later took her own life.”

The family said it was concerned ahead of Bromley’s release and that it was disappointed with media coverage of the case. 

“The family of Stephen Docoza, the victim, remains firmly convinced of Derek Bromley’s guilt, despite media portrayals suggesting his innocence,” the statement read. 

The ABC has contacted Bromley’s lawyer for comment.

Bromley will remain in prison until the mandatory 60-day parole review period has passed next month.

Last month, SA Parole Board chair Frances Nelson KC said the request had been granted because of Bromley’s “exemplary” behaviour in prison in recent years.

Derek Bromley was found guilty of the murder of Stephen Docoza.(Supplied: Bob Moles)

“His institutional behaviour has been very good, we are convinced that he will not present a risk to the community if he is released on parole,” Ms Nelson said.