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Police launch 'unlawful homicide' investigation after woman's body found

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Marissa Calligeros

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Body found beneath Kholo Creek crossing

As the search for a missing mother-of-three enters its 11th day, police report the discovery of a woman’s body in a creek at Anstead.

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Police have launched an “unlawful homicide’’ investigation after the body of a woman was discovered in a creek southwest of Brisbane, according to Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth.

As the search for missing mother-of-three Allison Baden-Clay entered its 11th day, a canoeist reported to police at 11am today the discovery of a woman’s body in a creek at Anstead.

Tonight, the body was taken away for forensic investigation.

Missing person Allison Baden-Clay.

Missing person Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Contributed/The Queensland Times

The body, found underneath the Kholo Creek crossing off Mount Crosby Road, has yet to be formally identified.

But Superintendent Ainsworth said the woman was wearing clothes similar to those Mrs Baden-Clay reportedly wore on the night she disappeared. A mannequin dressed in clothes similar to those worn by Mrs Baden-Clay, including grey tracksuit pants, a grey or black top and white running shoes, was placed on Brookfield Road last week.

"I must stress at this time [there] is not a positive confirmation that it is Allison, however we are treating it very seriously that it may be her,'' he said today.

The Baden-Clay home. Click for more photos

The search for Allison

Brisbane mother-of-three Allison Baden-Clay, 43, went missing from her home in Brookfield on April 19, 2012. Photo: Marissa Calligeros

"At this stage we haven't made an examination of the body.''

He said Mrs Baden-Clay's parents, Priscilla and Geoff Dickie, were devastated by the news.

"They have been here daily ... sitting up there in the Brookfield Showgrounds being ever hopeful of a positive resolution, same as ourselves,'' he said.

"They're devastated - you can't explain it any other way."

He said her husband, Gerard Baden-Clay, had been informed of the discovery by detectives this morning.

Superintendent Ainsworth would not confirm whether there were any persons of interest in the case.

"At this stage we have interviewed a number of people ... on more than one occasion," he said.

"The missing persons case has been ramped up for some time, basically as a result of investigations that have been undertaken.

"At this stage we're looking at an unlawful homicide investigation. We have been looking at that for some time now.

"We believe it reached that level some time ago."

Premier Campbell Newman said the body’s discovery was sad news for Mrs Baden-Clay's friends and family.

‘‘It’s very sad news indeed, if it is her, and they’re going to need a lot of support,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a very, very sad story and I hope the police can get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.’’

This afternoon, a steady stream of family and friends have been arriving at the Brookfield Showgrounds where police established a command post to mount a search for the missing mother.

And flowers have been placed outside the Baden-Clay home.

The body was found underneath the Kholo Creek crossing off Mount Crosby Road, about five kilometres west of Moggill Road, he said.

"There are number of residences in the higher side of the creek there. Door knocks are being conducted in those areas and other residences nearby,'' he said.

"If anyone in that particular vicinity that may have driven through ... on Thursday night or Friday morning [April 19 and 20] could please come forward and contact police."

Water police, scientific officers and homicide detectives are currently at the site of the body discovery.

The creek had not yet been searched by police.

Police advised Mount Crosby Road was closed to all traffic from Hawkesbury Road to Tanderra Road. It was anticipated the road will re-open shortly.

The search for the missing 43-year-old entered its 11th day today after her husband reported her missing on Friday, April 20.

It was previously reported Mr Baden-Clay last saw his wife leave their rural Brookfield home, in Brisbane's west, to go for a walk late on April 19.

But police confirmed today Mr Baden-Clay has maintained he last saw his wife watching television at their home about 10pm that Thursday.

He has told police he woke the next morning to find her missing and raised the alarm about 7.30am.

Mr Baden-Clay was called to Indooroopilly police station yesterday afternoon, where he received an update on the search, a police spokeswoman said.

He spent one hour at the police station, after attending church with his daughters aged five, eight and 10.

The police forward command post has moved to the intersection of Bunya Street and Mt Crosby Road.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who lives near the Tyamolum Scout Camp, Kholo Creek Bridge, Mt Crosby Road or Bunya Street, Anstead to contact police if they saw or heard anything between 8.00pm Thursday April 19 and 7.30am Friday April 20.

 

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