Police are considering whether to excavate a Queensland rubbish tip where the family of missing schoolgirl Rachel Antonio believes her body has been dumped.
Rachel was 16 when she disappeared on Anzac Day in 1998. Her alleged boyfriend Robert Hytch was found guilty of her manslaughter in 1999 but acquitted after a retrial.
Yesterday, Mackay District Detective Inspector Nikki Colfs inspected the dump in the Whitsundays region town, along with the former site manager and a forensic officer, ahead of a possible excavation at the site.
Police have said the move was sparked by new information about the case, and it also follows the publication of a Courier-Mail podcast that featured Rachel’s parents and a former dump worker calling for a search of the rubbish.
“We have commenced a detailed evaluation and plan of action in relation to the possible site excavation of the tip,” Detective Inspector Nikki Colfs said in a statement today.
“The Antonio family deserve to know what happened, they deserve justice, and we remain committed to finding Rachel.”
A 2016 coronial inquest found Mr Hytch most likely killed Rachel in a “physical altercation”, but Coroner David O’Connell was unable to ascertain the exact cause of her death or where her body was.
“Ultimately I cannot determine what Mr Hytch did with Rachel’s body unless her remains are located,” he said.
Mr Hytch has appealed the Coroner’s findings to the Supreme Court.
A $250,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to Rachel’s remains.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Source: 9 News