‘Tragic scene’ as body found in Brisbane
The body of a mother who vanished moments after reporting a break-in at her home has been found inside a car boot.
Wendy Sleeman, 61, had been missing since Tuesday, when she called police from her home in Gold Coast.
Her son, Slade Murdok, 30, was previously arrested and charged with a number of offences including kidnapping.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith told reporters on Thursday night that a body was found in the blue Honda Jazz police had been searching for in a garage at a unit block in the inner-northern Brisbane suburb of Windsor.
“It would appear that we’ve located the body of Wendy Sleeman,” Superintendent Smith said.
“Whilst it’s yet to be formally identified, it certainly appears to be her.”
Murdok – previously known as Jamie Sleeman – was arrested on Wednesday afternoon.
He was remanded in custody after appearing in court in Brisbane on charges of unlawful stalking, burglary, assault occasioning bodily harm, kidnapping, attempted arson and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
A desperate search for Ms Sleeman began immediately after officers found pools of blood at her Elanora home.
Police believe Ms Sleeman may have been inside a blue Honda Jazz that sped away from her home as police responded to a “break and enter” report on Wednesday.
Supt Smith alleged the garage had been hired by Murdok, with the owner unaware of who he was.
“It would appear there’s an innocent party involved in the ownership of the garage.”
He said “forensics examination of electronic devices have led to us coming here”.
Police had been searching for a blue Honda Jazz with the Queensland registration 952AT4.
It was last seen at 5.50pm on Tuesday at the intersection of Paradise Road and Kingston Road in Kingston Central.
Supt Smith is still urging anyone who had seen the Honda Jazz to come forward.
“Just because we’ve located the car, we’re still very keen to hear from people who might have seen it,” he said.
Police divers had searched the lake behind Ms Sleeman’s home.
Items were in the water, which will be examined by the police forensic unit.
Police were also seen searching the park neighbouring the house on Ironbark St, Elanora for evidence.
Emergency crews were called to Ms Sleeman’s Gold Coast home at 3.30pm on Tuesday, after she reported a potential break-in.
She called police after noticing signs of forced entry, saying to police on the phone: “It doesn’t look like there’s anyone here”.
But 30 minutes later when police arrived on the scene, the 61-year-old was nowhere to be found.
“We have grave concerns for her safety,” Detective Superintendent Smith said on Wednesday.
Officers arrested Mr Murdok shortly before 5pm on Wednesday.
Ms Sleeman’s sister has flown up to the Gold Coast from her Melbourne home to help support the search efforts.
“It’s a very sad time for the family. Obviously they’ve been advised. On the other side I suppose it gives them some closure as to where she is,” Superintendent Smith said.
“It’s a tragic scene, a tragic circumstance.”
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