According to reports, detectives are examining if the remains of British traveler Peter Falconio were recovered close to the last spot he was seen alive.
This week, bone fragments were reportedly discovered near Alice Springs, Northern Territory, just a few hundred kilometers from where he was shot in 2001.
Bradley Murdoch was convicted of murdering Mr. Falconio, 28, and attempting to abduct his girlfriend, Joanne Lees, also 27, after stopping their campervan in the middle of the night on a desolate outback road.
Murdoch attempted to force her into the back of his ute, but she escaped and went into the bush, hiding in the darkness until he eventually gave up and fled with Mr. Falconio’s body.
Since then, no trace of the backpacker has been discovered.
The location where the most recent remains were reportedly located is consistent with where officials have long assumed Murdoch put his corpse.
Nine tabloids reported that forensic experts will now use DNA and dental records to determine if the remains belong to the traveller.
Friday night, Northern Territory Police were unable to confirm the specifics of any new discoveries.
Murdoch was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder, but he has always maintained his innocence and refuses to reveal the location of the body to the authorities.
According to police sources, the age and location of the bones discovered this week are a near match to Mr. Falconio’s case.
These were reportedly discovered while police were searching for Angie Fuller, who disappeared outside of Alice Springs in January.
Murdoch testified that he was in Alice Springs on the same day as Mr. Falconio and Ms. Lees, both from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, barely hours before the attack 10 kilometers outside the little village of Barrow Creek.
He said that he resembled a suspect captured on Surveillance footage at a Shell truck stop in Alice Springs a few hours following the purported murder.
In 2005, during his trial for the murder of Mr. Falconio at the Northern Territory supreme court in Darwin, Murdoch revealed that his father and friends had told him he resembled the man in the video, but he denied it was him.
Murdoch confessed transporting significant quantities of cocaine from Sedan, South Australia, to Broome, Western Australia, but he denied the fatal attack and told the court, “No.” I was absent from the truck stop.
Mr. Falconio and Ms. Lees were traveling in a camper van on the lonely Stuart Highway on the evening of 14 July 2001 when they were stopped by Murdoch.
Murdoch drove up behind them on the route between Alice Springs and Darwin and informed them that their vehicle had a technical issue.
Murdoch claimed sparks were emanating from the vehicle’s exhaust and persuaded the pair to pull over.
Ms. Lees told officers that her partner exited the campervan to inspect the back before she heard a gunshot.
Murdoch then arrived at her door with a rifle pointed at her before tying her hands and ankles with tape and loading her into the back of his pickup under a green canvas canopy.
She escaped, hiding in the wilderness for hours as Murdoch and his dog looked for her, until he finally concealed their campervan in the surrounding bush and fled in his truck.
Ms. Lees ultimately waved down a truck and sounded the alarm, but her boyfriend’s remains have never been discovered.
Four days after the incident, detectives returned with Ms. Lees to the secluded stretch of the Stuart Highway to reconstruct the horrifying events.
On the footage, Ms. Lees sits inside the orange Kombi vehicle as police investigate crucial aspects including how Murdoch held the gun when he threatened her and how she was assaulted.
She demonstrated how her hands were bound behind her back and how she was shoved out of the orange Kombi onto the red soil on the roadside shoulder.
Murdoch was found guilty of the murder in December 2005 after his DNA was detected on Ms. Lee’s t-shirt. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release for 28 years.
Murdoch was believed to have placed Mr. Falconio’s body in his ute before dumping it 200 kilometers between Alice Springs and Broome, according to testimony during his trial.
Police in the Northern Territory have conducted several searches for the body of the British tourist over the years and remain confident that it will be located.
The 2003, 2004, and 2007 discoveries of human remains were unrelated to the Falconio probe.
This Thursday, a detective from the Northern Territory remarked, “We’ve gone down this path before, so we’re not jumping to conclusions.”
CONTINUOUS SEARCH TO REVEAL BACKPACKER MYSTERY
In February 2020, police in the Northern Territory were requested to reexamine a secluded well in the hopes that the bones of murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio were buried there.
Officers hunting for Falconio’s remains inspected a limestone well located on the one million-acre Neutral Junction property in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Charlie Frith, the owner of the farm, said that because the well was flooded at the time of the murder, it was not thoroughly inspected.
And in July 2020, a key witness shockingly disclosed that he observed a body that ‘looked like jelly’ being loaded into a car, which may have been the slain British backpacker.
Vince Millar, the truck driver who rescued Ms. Lees from the Stuart Highway, revealed a disturbing new fact that casts doubt on the outback murder case.
Mr. Millar had been driving his road train up the Stuart Highway when Ms. Lees leapt out of her vehicle with her hands bound.
Mr. Millar reported seeing headlights circling and flashing intermittently near Barrow Creek, around 280 kilometers north of Alice Springs.
Mr. Millar disclosed that he observed a red automobile on the side of the road with two persons standing next to it.
As he slowed to offer assistance if necessary, he observed the men loading a man who resembled “jelly” into the automobile.
They did not want me to see something. I am fairly certain that the man in the centre was Peter Falconio,’ he stated in the four-part documentary Murder in the Outback: The Falconio and Lees Mysteries.
The June 2020 airing of the controversial television documentary sparked suspicions that the true killer may still be at large.»22 years later, Peter Falconio remain seem likely to have been found«