Investigators from the Queensland Police Service are convinced that the body of the missing Toowong woman, Lesley Trotter, was dumped inside a wheelie bin, which was collected by a rubbish truck on the day of her disappearance.
After almost two weeks of investigations, the focus has shifted to locating her body in two possible dump sites in Rosedale and Swanbank, now under quarantine. The truck first took the bins to the Nudgee transfer station, where wastes are usually compressed before being taken to the dump sites.
The police could not yet say how they were convinced the Toowong woman has died. According to reports, traces of blood were discovered in the bin area of Ms Trotter’s unit complex in Toowong. Forensic samples were taken for further examination.
“It was evident she was deceased. Due to the positioning of the body, we can’t rule out foul play,” Queensland Police Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham said.
Two crime scenes were set up close to her unit block in Merivale St, Toowong. Police have not ruled out the possibility that the 78-year-old’s disappearance may be tied to a neighbourhood recycling dispute.
Ms Trotter was last in touch with her family before noon on 27 March 2023. They called the police when they did not find her at home during their visit the next day.
When the police checked, they discovered that Ms Trotter left her mobile and wallet behind. Also, her car was still in the garage. A large-scale search then followed.
Despite finding no traces of a body, senior officers of the investigation concluded on 7 April 2023 that Ms Trotter, may have died close to her Toowong unit on Maryvale St between midnight on Monday, 27 March, and midday on Tuesday, 28 March.
“Two crime scenes have been established at the Maryvale Street unit complex where Lesley resides,” the QPS said. “Police appeal to anyone with relevant dashcam vision or CCTV, particularly between 5am and 7am on Tuesday, March 28, to come forward.”
Mr Massingham said during the press conference that Ms Trotter was in the habit of sorting through her neighbours’ rubbish bins to recycle waste.
“Whether that’s created some angst amongst the tenants, we’re working through that at the moment,” Mr Massingham said. “That’s one line of inquiry we’re following. We have not ruled out that this activity in some way is linked to her death.”
Ms Trotter, a retired teacher, was looking forward to moving to a retirement village.