Homicide squad search abandoned mine site near Avoca

UPDATE 11.30AM: Homicide Squad Missing Person Unit detectives have arrested a Maryborough man in relation to the suspicious disappearance of Ricky Lee Ganly.

The 28-year-old man was arrested in Maryborough about 4pm yesterday.

He is currently in custody and assisting investigators with their inquiries.

The arrest relates to the disappearance of the 48-year-old Deer Park man who was last seen by his girlfriend at his Doherty Street home about 12pm on April 28 last year. 

A man’s body, believed to be that of Ricky Lee Ganly, was located in a submerged car in an abandoned Avoca mine yesterday afternoon.

Investigators are appealing to the public for assistance in relation to his disappearance and urge anyone who may have any information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au 

UPDATE 10.45AM: Homicide police continue to investigate the suspicious disappearance of Deer Park man Ricky Lee Ganly after hauling his Magna sedan and a body from the bottom of a flooded Avoca mine.

Police divers made the grim discovery during a painstaking five-hour search of the site about a kilometre north west of Avoca yesterday. Mr Ganly, 48, was last seen by his girlfriend at his Doherty Street home in Deer Park about 12pm on Sunday, April 28, last year.

Search and rescue divers, homicide detectives and  police converged at the isolated, 20m deep mine, accessible from a dirt track off Homebush Road, after new information provided a break in the 10-month-old case.

Homicide investigator Ron Iddles said he believed there were people in the Avoca-Maryborough area who knew exactly what happened to Mr Ganly and urged them to come forward.

He said phone records showed Mr Ganly was close to the old mine site about 1.30pm on April 29.

“We’ve been able to establish over the last nine or 10 months that his last movements were here in Avoca on the 28th and 29th of April last year,” Senior Sergeant Iddles said.

“As a result of federal information we received last week, we came here (on Sunday) believing we could find Ricky’s Magna. We’ve now just located his Magna and sadly what appears to be human remains in the vehicle.”

Police divers spent the morning searching the murky waters before discovering the car about 15 metres from the bank at 2.30pm.

It was hauled from the mine with chains and a truck.

Earlier, police also retrieved a weapon from the water but Senior Sergeant Iddles said it was a World War II era rifle and not believed to be connected to the case.

"This is, I guess, an area where people discard things," he said.

The body is yet to be formally identified. Police are urging anyone who saw Mr Ganly or his 1996 Magna sedan around the time of his disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au

- with The Courier

UPDATE: 3.30PM: Police have found a body submerged in a car at Avoca. 

Victoria Police confirmed the find, which was made at about 3.30pm. 

Members of the Homicide Squad and search and rescue officers had been scouring the area for missing 48-year-old Ricky Lee Ganly. 

A police spokeswoman said the body would have to be formally identified. 

"Police are continuing their investigation," she said. 

She said no-one had been questioned or arrested over the matter. 

Police continue to seek public assistance. 

UPDATE 2PM: Police have retrieved a rifle while searching for a missing 48-year-old. 

Drivers discovered the weapon in water this afternoon. 

Several members of the Homicide Squad are on scene searching for Ricky Lee Ganly, who disappeared in April 2013.

EARLIER: Police are searching an abandoned mine site near Avoca today following the suspicious disappearance of a 48-year-old man. 

Search and Rescue divers will examine the 20-metre deep mine site that is filled with water on Avoca-Dunolly Road. 

Homicide Squad Missing Persons Unit detectives said Ricky Lee Ganly disappeared in April 2013.

The Deer Park man was last seen by his girlfriend at his Doherty Street home about 12pm on Sunday, 28 April 2013.

He has not accessed his bank accounts or been seen since.

Investigators are appealing to the public for assistance in relation to his disappearance and urge anyone who may have any information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au 

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