Advertiser Monday February 2 1998

Police officers grisly discovery in isolated creek

The Clue to body's identity

This distinctive crystal pendant is the only clue to identity of a decomposing body found floating in a creek at Port Gawler, 45km north of Adelaide, on Saturday. After an autopsy yesterday, police said the body was that of a female aged between 15 to 30, slightly built and fair haired. Detective Senior Sergeant Gerry Feltus said the death, which had been declared a major crime, was a mystery. "We're hoping a member of the public will recognise one of the items of jewellery and help us identify the woman." he said. The pendant - a chunk of purple quartz crystal entwined with silver wire and suspended on a length of black leather - was found on the body when it was discovered off the lonely Port Gawler Rd. The girl or woman was also wearing a silver naval ring and a silver ring in the middle finger of her right hand. Her body could have been in the isolated creek for up to two weeks. Senior Sergeant Feltus said injuries to her body gave some indication of how she died but he would not give out details. The body was discovered by a Two Wells patrol officer on a routine patrol of Port Gawler Rd, a popular dumping ground for stolen cars. He noticed the body floating among mangroves in the tidal creek beside the road and at first thought it was a shop mannequin.

Police Divers recovered the body and returned to the scene yesterday to look for clothes and any other evidence. The Female was wearing a floral top, underwear and a single sock. A second sock was found nearby. Water response divers who searched the creek for three hours said they found no clues. Checks of the missing persons list yielded no breakthrough. Senior Sergeant Feltus said the results of an autopsy were still being studied. These should help police narrow down the age of the female and offer further clues to the manner of her death. But it is the crystal pendant that police are relying for identification. Anyone familiar with its wearer should contact Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000

© The Advertiser written by Annabel Crabb

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