A body, believed to be that of Chinese woman Qi Yu, has been found in bushland alongside a major Sydney motorway nearly two months after she was allegedly murdered by her housemate.
The grim discovery marks the end of a turbulent seven weeks for the 28-year-old’s parents, who had continued to hope their daughter was alive.
The body, reportedly wrapped up, was found near an emergency stop area on the M1 highway near Mount Ku-ring-gai in Sydney’s north on Wednesday morning.
Ms Yu, 28, was last seen by friends at her Campsie share house in the city’s southwest on the evening of Friday, June 8.
Her devastated parents flew to Sydney in the following days.
They refused to believe she had been killed even after police arrested and charged her 19-year-old housemate, Shuo Dong, with murder.
They held a tear-filled press conference in which they handed out posters that read, ‘Looking for Missing Girl Qi Yu’.
One of the posters was attached to an overpass not far from where her body was found and others plastered at Mount Ku-ring-gai train station 150 metres away.
While the body has not been formally identified, homicide detectives believe it is Ms Yu.
Phone records suggested Ms Yu’s white Toyota Corolla was driven north to the area around Mount Ku-ring-gai, Berowra and Cowan and back to Campsie between 8.30pm and 12am on the night she disappeared.
The 2016 model hatchback was later found dumped at Burwood in Sydney’s west on the same weekend she disappeared.
Police search teams, supported by cadaver dogs, helicopters and marine units had spent weeks scouring vast tracts of bushland and waterways around the area for signs of Ms Yu’s body.
Specialist officers in white forensic jumpsuits took photographs from the road before ducking under trees and entering the scene to lay yellow evidence markers on Wednesday.
Two markers were placed next to heaps of matted, dirty fabric in the undergrowth while the scene was chemically swabbed.
One marker was placed next to scuffs on the motorway’s guardrail.
The sliver of bushland is wedged between the highway and train tracks leading to Mount Ku-ring-gai station.
Traffic slowly filtered past the crime scene as officers worked to remove the body about 3pm.