Police probe body in drain mystery - May 2003

HOMICIDE detectives are investigating a bizarre murder mystery after the gruesome discovery of a body in a pipe at a suburban cemetery.

Staff at the Springvale cemetery complex yesterday found the body of the semi-naked man lying in an isolated corner of the property. The workers, constructing grave sites on the western border of the 160 ha complex, came across the body at 11am.

The Caucasian man in his mid-40s had clothing on his upper body and only underpants below the waist.

It is believed other items of clothing were found close to the body.

Police are treating the death as suspicious and expect the results of an autopsy early this morning.

The man was slumped face up in a concrete storm water pipe, but was in clear sight and had been dead for a maximum of two days, police said.

Acting Sen-Sgt Darren Humphries, of the homicide squad, said no attempt had been made to disguise the body.

"It certainly hasn't been hidden,"he said. "This area isn't normally frequented by the public and it's a pretty isolated part of the cemetery.

"We are treating his death as suspicious at this stage pending an autopsy which will be conducted this evening."

Shocked cemetery workers will be offered counselling after their disturbing find.

The creek is bordered by 3m fences, leading police to believe whoever dumped the body entered the property through the main gates.


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