New appeal to find body of British backpacker Peter Falconio launched in Australia
Police have appealed for information to locate the body of Peter Falconio, a British backpacker murdered in Australia on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance.
Bradley Murdoch was convicted in 2005 of murdering Peter Falconio, 28, and assaulting his girlfriend Joanne Lees at gunpoint on a remote stretch of highway near Barrow Creek, in the Northern Territory, in 2001.
At a glance: 5 key points
- Northern Territory Police have put out a new appeal for information to locate the body of Peter Falconio, a British backpacker murdered in Australia, on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance.
- The appeal comes amid renewed calls for the man convicted of Falconio’s murder, Bradley John Murdoch, to reveal where he dumped the body. He is currently serving a life sentence with a 28-year-non-parole period.
- Bradley Murdoch was convicted in 2005 of murdering Peter Falconio, 28, and assaulting his girlfriend Joanne Lees at gunpoint on a remote stretch of highway near Barrow Creek, about 200 miles north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, on July 14 2001.
- Peter Falconio’s body is believed to have been hidden by Murdoch, and has never been found despite extensive searches.
- Joanne Lee’s returned to the Australian outbreak for the first time in 15 years in February 2017 in the hope of finding the body. The 43-year-old, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, said at the time she wanted to “bring him home” as she returned to the scene of the shooting for an Australian television show special.
What’s been said
Detective senior sergeant Karl Day said: “Police are urging anyone out there, with any information that may assist Peter’s family in gaining some sort closure, to come forward and contact police.
“We are thinking of Peter’s family and friends on this anniversary and remain hopeful that such a milestone may jolt some information and progress the investigation.”
Talking about the sentencing of Bradley Murdoch, The NT chief minister, Michael Gunner, said the murder was a callous and sickening act of violence.
“The murder of Peter Falconio was a deeply disturbing and traumatic event that had a profound effect on many people,” he said on Wednesday. “Not the least being Mr Falconio’s family and his girlfriend at the time,” Joanne Lees.”He said it was “some comfort” that Murdoch was apprehended and jailed, and will not menace the public again.
“Murdoch has never shown remorse for his crime. It would be fitting for him to show some decency and reveal Mr Falconio’s whereabouts for the sake of those who loved him,” he said.