Monday, June 24, 2024

Search underway for remains of 1987 murder victim

NSW Homicide Squad detectives have returned to the state’s far south to conduct a land search, after receiving information relating to the possible location of human remains linked to the 1987 murder of Melbourne woman, Jodie Larcombe.

Jodie Maree Larcombe (pictured) – then aged 21 – was last seen on Tuesday 22 December 1987 near Coburg, Victoria.

Following extensive investigations, detectives arrested and charged a man, Darryl Suckling – then aged 50 – over Ms Larcombe’s murder in 1994.

Convicted murderer, Darryl Suckling.

In 1996, the man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, where he remains.

“Since Ms Larcombe’s disappearance, NSW Police Force investigators have conducted extensive inquiries, including searches of remote bushland in the Mildura area, in an effort to locate her remains,” NSW Police said in a statement today.

“Despite these efforts, her body has never been found.”

Earlier this year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad established Strike Force Turret after receiving new information relating to the possible location of Ms Larcombe’s remains.

Last month, Homicide Squad detectives travelled to Mourquong, NSW – about 5km north of the Victorian border at Mildura – to conduct initial inquiries into the location.

“Earlier today, detectives from the Homicide Squad returned to Mourquong, to commence a coordinated forensic land search of the area,” NSW Police said.

“The search, involving Strike Force Turret detectives, assisted by officers from the across the state’s Western Region, Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command (FETS), Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) and the Dog Unit, is expected to continue for several days.”

Jodie Larcombe.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said detectives will use all available resources to ensure the area is thoroughly searched.

“It has been more than three decades since Jodie’s murder and detectives would like nothing more than to return her remains to her family, so they may finally lay her to rest,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“The NSW Police Force will always thoroughly investigate new information in relation to the location of missing and deceased persons, even when a conviction has occurred.

“We would encourage anyone in the community that can help officers to come forward – what you know may help bring some peace to families who have been unrelenting in their quest for answers for many years,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Jodie’s father, Ken Larcombe, thanked police for their ongoing commitment to finding his daughter.

“The pain of losing a child never leaves you and there has always been a hole in our hearts as we were never able to farewell Jodie and lay her to rest,” Mr Larcombe said.

“Even though it has been more than 33 years since she was taken from us – we find great comfort knowing that detectives continue to investigate all information that may allow us to find her.”

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