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UPDATE: Police say they have “no doubt at all” they will solve the case of the death of Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski.
Detective Inspector Tim Day spoke to the media as SES crews searched up to eight kilometres of roadside in the Childers Road-Mount Macedon Road area in a search for evidence.
They are not searching for any item in particular however, police say.
In the last week, police have spoken with a witness who claimed to have seen a lone male standing next to a black Mercedes facing the wrong direction on Childers Road near the date when Ms Ristevski went missing.
Detective Inspector Day said they were still trying to determine if the sighting occurred on the day Ms Ristevski went missing.
Crews looking in drains. Press conference expected for 11am pic.twitter.com/DZNGdqbCbC— Adam Holmes (@AdamHolmes010) July 13, 2017
“The witness has articulated this sighting prior to the discovery of Ms Ristevski’s body in February,” he said.
“On that basis it is of significant importance to us because their credibility is such that the caller and the witness could not have known the location of Karen’s body at the time of their observation.
“We're trying to narrow down exactly what day it was and working towards whether or not it’s on the actual day that Karen went missing.”
Her body was found in bushland near Salisbury and Loch roads in Mount Macedon on February 20.
The witness’ evidence was the starting point for police to conduct another search of the area, focusing on the roadsides rather than bushland.
Police released an appeal for witnesses last month based on footage of a black Mercedes seen with five other vehicles at Diggers Rest Railway Station on the day of Ms Ristevski’s disappearance.
Detective Inspector Day said police were close to determining if the car was the same as one belonging to Ms Ristevski.
He said police were not looking for any items in particular during today’s search, and that all avenues remain open. He could not comment on any suspects in the case.
EARLIER: Police will return to Mount Macedon today to search for clues into the death of Karen Ristevski.
Missing Persons Squad detectives, with assistance from the State Emergency Service and the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad, will search Childers Road, Mount Macedon Road, Waterfalls Road and Salisbury Road.
The search area follows the route detectives believe may have been taken to the location where Mrs Ristevski’s body was located in bushland at Mount Macedon in February.
Mrs Ristevski was reported missing on June 30 last year and was last seen alive at her Avondale Heights home on the morning of June 29, 2016.
In June this year, police launched a fresh appeal for information saying detectives had identified a vehicle of interest, a black Mercedes Benz SLK coupe.
Information given to investigators in recent days confirms the sighting of the car in the vicinity of Childers Road and Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon about midday on the day Mrs Ristevski went missing.
Further information from a witness indicates that a lone male was seen near the car.
Investigators also have information that confirms a witness had reported the sighting prior to the discovery of Mrs Ristevski’s body, and therefore would have had no knowledge as to the location of her resting place.
The importance and potential veracity of the observation cannot be overstated, Victoria Police said in a statement on Thursday morning.
The location is only about 1.5km from where Mrs Ristevski’s body was discovered.
Investigators are still urging anyone who may have been in the Mount Macedon area in the late morning or early afternoon on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, to contact Crime Stoppers.
Detectives wish to speak to anyone who may have seen a black Mercedes Benz SLK coupe, fitted with Mercedes Benz manufactured 5 spoke alloy wheels, in these locations:
- Macedon Regional Park
- Mount Macedon Golf Club
- Mount Macedon Road
- Salisbury Road
- Waterfalls Road
- Childers Road
- Loch Road
Anyone with any information whatsoever is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au