Homicide detectives say a woman whose body was wrapped in plastic and dumped in a creek near Lake Macquarie had become involved in drugs and died a “gruesome death”.
The remains of 29-year-old Danielle Easey were found in Cockle Creek at Killingworth on Saturday, with a forensic examination finding that she was murdered.
Detective Chief Inspector Grant Taylor said it was unclear when or where Danielle was killed, but forensic tests revealed she sustained significant injuries.
“Danielle died a gruesome death, that’s all I can reveal at the moment, but we believe Danielle may have been killed weeks ago” he said
“Unfortunately for Danielle got herself involved in drugs and we are exploring whether that is connected with her death.”
Ms Easey lived in the suburb of Booragul with family, but had also been staying at multiple locations in the area.
Police said she had not been reported as missing.
It is believed she may have been murdered around mid-August, but investigators are urging anyone with information to come forward
“We are very interested to hear from members of the public in regards to the movements of Danielle over the last three weeks,” Detective Chief Inspector Taylor said.
“We also believe that Danielle was residing at a number of different locations over the last several weeks — we are very keen to hear from the people putting her up”
Motorists found the body at around 10.30pm on Saturday as they drove through isolated bushland along Wakefield Road.
A crime scene was established at the creek and some roads were blocked off as emergency services scoured the area for clues to reveal what may have happened.
Police have not given any formal statement about the condition of the woman’s body, but officers are treating the death as suspicious.
Wakefield Road remains closed between The Broadway and Rhondda Road as police investigators continue work at a crime scene near the closed West Wallsend Colliery where a body was found in Cockle Creek on Saturday morning. @newcastleherald pic.twitter.com/Dzqq7WzkAO
— Max McKinney (@MaxMckinney) September 1, 2019
‘It’s absolutely disgusting’
Barnsley resident Ben Hay said the death had left many people in disbelief.
“I do think that people were shocked and fearful of things like this happening in the community,” he said.
“It’s very shocking to hear, I can only imagine what her family would be feeling right now, my thoughts and condolences go out to them.”
Another man, Roy Redfern, said many people were worried a killer could be on the run.
“It’s very sad and it just doesn’t seem right, the person who did this to her should be locked up forever,” he said.
Jodan Marlow lives near the crime scene and is the same age as the victim.
“It’s absolutely disgusting, once I heard about the incident on Saturday, I was mortified,” she said.
“It’s very scary, especially when you’ve got young kids.
“I’ve got two young boys of my own and I’d hate to see this ever happen again.”
A source close to the investigation said CCTV had been gathered from homes and businesses around the Barnsley area.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers.