‘Murder in the Outback’ case could be closed at last as human remains found

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    Human remains in the area near where British backpacker Peter Falconio was murdered and his girlfriend was ambushed nearly 22 years ago have been found.

    Peter was travelling around Australia with his girlfriend Joanne Lees when the pair were ambushed in the outback on July 14, 2001.

    Bradley Murdoch was convicted of murdering Mr Falconio, 28, in 2005, but Ms Lees somehow managed to escape his clutches when the killer was distracted and hid in the bush before she found someone to raise the alarm.

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    Murdoch has refused to tell police where he hid the body and has continued to protest his innocence in a case that shocked the world.

    The body of Mr Falconio, who was killed near Barrow Creek, about 200 miles north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, has never been found despite extensive searches.

    It is believed to have been hidden somewhere in the vast outback by Murdoch, which covers 70% of Australia.

    However, in a shocking new development, bone fragments have been found near Alice Springs this week.

    According to Australian news outlet The Age, the remains are going to be tested by experts in the coming days.

    They were found in an area consistent with where it is believed Falconio was shot and dumped – but three similar remains were found in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and all proved not to be linked to him.

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    A spokesman for the local police said: “We have been down this track before so we are not jumping to any conclusions.”

    A new appeal for information was launched two years ago, on the 20th anniversary of the attack.

    At the time, 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 of closure, to come forward and contact police.

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    "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.”

    The investigation is ongoing.

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