Local News

New witness comes forward in missing girl in the suitcase mystery

The man has told police he saw a man dressed in a suit appear from the scrubland and cross the road quickly while on the phone.
The Karoonda Highway, South Australia

A new witness has come forward in the case of the missing girl in the suitcase.

The Australian reports that the witness saw a possible suspect walking out of scrub near, but not exactly close, to where the suitcase with the girl’s remains inside were found.

The man has told police he was on his way home from a family function in late May and while travelling along the Karoonda Highway saw a man dressed in a suit appear from the scrubland and cross the road quickly while on the phone.

He looked about 60-years-old, according to the witness, who gave detectives a statement last week.

“The neatly dressed, clean-cut man disappeared into scrub on the other side of the highway, on a 32km stretch that links the Murray River town of Tailem Bend with Wynarka, about 120km southeast of Adelaide,” reports The Australian.

“The witness recently returned to the site and is believed to have found a black tub swarming with flies and a washing basket.”

The suitcase containing the remains was found on July 14.

In this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly – on sale now – journalist Michael Sheather travelled to South Australia to meet the devastated community of Wynarka who are looking for answers.

He filed this report:

Karoonda Highway where the suitcase was found.

It was the tragic discovery that sparked headlines around the world.

At about 10am on July 14, two local boys and a girl were driving along Karoonda Highway, approximately 1.7km south-east of Wynarka, when they noticed what appeared to be a large suitcase in scrub about five metres back from bitumen.

The zipper was undone.

What they thought might be children’s clothes lay strewn about the ground, but there was nothing that held any interest for three young people.

They drove on.

However, on the way back from their destination, they again saw the suitcase and stopped for another look.

As one of the boys poked around with a stick, he lifted a piece of cloth. What he saw next took his breath away – a small but all too human jaw bone.

It turns out other locals had noticed the suitcase during the previous weeks.

The youngsters who had reported it to police weren’t the only ones to stop and look.

One man came forward to say he’s seen the suitcase about eight weeks earlier, not long after the council widened the highway in extensive road works.

The remains were handed to South Australia’s forensic team in Adelaide. They were later able to reveal, through DNA testing, the remains belonged to a girl aged between two and four.

The Weekly’s Michael Sheather traveled to Adelaide and spoke at length with the investigating officers.

He also discovered a community in shock.

“This has shaken a lot of people down to the core,” says one local woman.

“There is a sadness and a regret that this has happened on our doorstep.”

To read the full story buy a copy of the latest Australian Women’s Weekly on sale now.

Related stories