License article

Police return to search Meagher's house

PLAIN clothes detectives returned to the house of missing woman Jillian Meagher last night, staying for several hours after forensic officers had searched the property earlier in the day.

Forensic police arrived at the Melbourne home Meagher shared with husband Tom shortly after midday and stayed for three hours, removing several large evidence bags full of property.

But a second group, this time including detectives and forensic officers, arrived back at the property after 6pm and resumed searching the home. They were let into the property by a man believed to be Tom Meagher's brother, Michael.

Mystery continues to surround the disappearance of Meagher, with police revealing they were investigating whether the missing woman's handbag had been planted in a Brunswick lane by someone connected to her disappearance.

The 29-year-old's handbag was found discarded in the lane on Monday morning by a passerby, who reported it to police.

But Detective Inspector John Potter, from the homicide squad, said police had already searched that lane in the hours after Ms Meagher, an Irish national, was reported missing on Saturday.


''There's two options, either police in the original search missed the bag or the bag has since been placed at that laneway after the police searched it originally,'' he told ABC 774, where Ms Meagher worked as a member of the Local Radio Victoria team.

The handbag contained Ms Meagher's credit card but not her mobile phone, which remains missing and is believed to have run out of battery or been turned off.

Ms Meagher was initially believed to have left Bar Etiquette about 1.30am on Saturday, intending to make the short walk to her home in Lux Way, after refusing a colleague's offer to accompany her home. Her home is less than one kilometre from the bar.

But she then made a brief phone call to her brother Michael at the family's Perth home about 2am to inquire about the health of her father, who recently suffered a stroke, and police now say she may have stayed in the bar to make the call. She was reported as missing by her husband about midday on Saturday.

New CCTV footage also emerged yesterday of the ABC employee walking home on Saturday morning. The footage shows her walking north along Sydney Road, Brunswick, just south of Hope Street, at 1.41am.

The police investigation has now turned to finding Ms Meagher's missing phone, and to any potential links between her disappearance and other reported attempted abductions in the Brunswick area. A number of women have reported being attacked or followed by a vehicle in the same area of Brunswick where Ms Meagher vanished after a night out on Sydney Road early on Saturday morning.

About 60 people also have contacted Crime Stoppers with potential information.

The Premier, Ted Baillieu, sent his regards to Ms Meagher's family and friends, and urged anyone with information to contact police.