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$1 million reward offered in Melbourne cold case of brutally murdered grandmother

A $1 million (NZD $1.07 million) reward is on offer to help solve the murder of a Victorian grandmother who was brutally murdered on New Year's Eve more than 30 years ago.

Kathleen Severino. Source: Victoria Police

Kathleen Severino, 70, was found dead in the bedroom of her Ballarat home on January 1, 1988.

She had been "savagely assaulted" and suffered fatal head injuries sometime between 10.30 and 11.30pm on New Year's Eve, Victoria Police said.

A witness reported seeing a man and woman near Severino's home at the time.

The home had been ransacked but nothing was stolen.

A 19-year-old man was charged with Severino's murder in 1990 but the charges were dropped after a witness revoked their evidence before trial.

The man died in 2017 but investigators say he remains a person of interest along with one of his former associates.

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said he hopes the $1 million reward will help shed some light on the cold case.

"We know people who commit or are part of horrific crimes such as these will often disclose their actions to someone," he said in a statement today.

"Despite the decades that have passed there is every reason to believe someone out there today knows what happened to Kathleen and who is responsible."

He said while 34 years have passed since Severino's murder, it's not too late for her family to get justice.

"Police will not stop until we get closure for Kathleen's family, which can only be achieved by holding the individual or persons responsible for the brutal death of a much-loved grandmother to account," Insp Stamper said.

Insp Stamper and Severino's daughter Glenda will address the media today.