The body of the murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio may lie at the bottom of a source that the police “could not search properly because it was under water,” the Australian farmer claims
- Peter Falconio was attacked in 2001 on a highway in North Australia
- Bradley Murdoch is convicted of murder despite the fact that his body was never found
- Farmer Charlie Frith believes that the remains of Mr. Falconio may lie at the bottom of a well on his land that the police did not fully search at the time because it was flooded
- He urged the researchers to come back and inspect the well a second time
The police in Australia have been urged to re-examine a remote source in the hope that the remains of the murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio might be hidden there.
Limestone pit, at a million-acre Neutral Junction station in the Northern Territory of Australia, was investigated by officers looking for Falconio’s body after being ambushed by armed Bradley John Murdoch on a nearby highway in 2001 .
But now farm owner Charlie Frith has suggested that officers did not fully inspect the well because it was flooded and asked them to come back and look again.
Peter Falconio (left) was ambushed by a shooter while in 2001 he drove over Australia with his girlfriend Joanne Lees (right). He is thought to have been murdered, despite the fact that his body was never found
A farmer who owns land near where Mr. Falconio (right) was ambushed has called on the police to re-examine a well where he believes the remains can be hidden
Mr. Frith told the Mirror that officers would not have been able to reach the bottom of the well without specialist equipment, and may have missed an opportunity to complete the mystery of what happened to Mr. Falconio’s body.
He said that there are times of the year when the water in the well is lower, and that it would be “relatively easy” to reach the bottom at these times.
“I think it would be good for the Falconio family to clear up all the options,” he said.
Mr. Frith explained that although the well is in a remote area, there is a road that connects it to the Stewart Highway where Mr. Falconio was attacked along with girlfriend Joanne Lees on July 14, 2001.
He admits that he did not own the country where the well is located at the time the police investigation took place, but says he was told that the search was not fully completed.
Frank Pangallo (left), a journalist who has become a politician, has previously accused the police of not following a tip that a delivery van similar to that of murderer Bradley Murdoch’s was seen near the same well on the night of the murder
He is not the only one who thinks that limestone could contain the remains of Mr. Falconio.
Frank Pangallo, a politician who reported on the murder as a journalist, is of the opinion that the police also failed to properly investigate claims made by a local resident who saw Murdoch’s bus at the well on the night of the attack .
In 2011 he visited the well twice to try to find it, but on both occasions he discovered that it was under water and could not get to the bottom.
As part of a new four-part Channel 4 documentary about the murder, Pangallo will also insist that the police properly inspect the well.
Colleen Gwynne, the lead investigator of the case, urged the Mirror that the well had been properly searched.
Mr. Falconio and Mrs. Lees, both 28 at the time and from Huddersfield, were driving an orange VW camper on Stewart Highway on the evening of July 14 when they were marked by another driver.
Farmer Charlie Frith believes that the police could not properly search the source because it was under water at the time, which meant that they could not reach the bottom
Mrs. Lees was pulled out of the VW camper (photo) which she shared with Falconio after he was shot. She was tied up by the killer, but was able to escape and survived
Mrs. Lees said the man was luring Mr. Falconio to the rear of the vehicle by saying that sparks had come out of the exhaust before she heard a shot.
She said the man then tied her up and dragged her to his Toyota four-wheel drive, but she managed to escape into the bush while he was distracted.
Mrs. Lees hid five hours from the man while he was looking for her, before finally flagging out a passing truck driver who brought her to safety.
Murdoch was identified as a suspect at the start of the investigation, but the police only began to seriously link him to the crime until an arrest in 2002 for rape and abduction of which he was later acquitted.
Investigators arrested Murdoch for the murder of Falconio in 2003 and brought him to justice in 2005, despite the murder weapon and his body never found.
He was largely sentenced in December of that year on the basis of DNA evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 28 years before being eligible for conditional release.
Murdoch insists that he is innocent and has brought a series of appeals.