Lesley Trotter Case: ‘Items of Interest’ Discovered At Rubbish Tip Not Linked to Toowong Woman

Heaps of “items of interest” found at a waste site in Swanbank in Ipswich have been confirmed as unrelated to Lesley Trotter, the 78-year-old Toowong woman whose disappearance in late March has prompted a massive police search.

Investigators said that the preliminary examination of the items of interest discovered at the rubbish tip were not tied to the ongoing investigations and that efforts to find Ms Trotter’s body will continue. 

The Toowong woman disappeared on 28 March 2023 while her wallet, mobile phone and car were still at home. The police believe that she was killed around midnight and her body was dumped inside a wheelie bin, which was collected and compacted at two possible landfill sites. 

Police started their search in Swanbank, where 3,000 tonnes of waste had to be sifted thoroughly, using rakes and other tools, from a landfill measuring 30 centimetres deep. Until her body is recovered, the police plan to examine over 200 tonnes of rubbish daily. Det Supt Massingham said that the process might take more than three weeks. Once recovered, Ms Trotter’s remains will still undergo forensic examination.

Meanwhile, Ms Trotter’s neighbours told “A Current Affair” that she was always “out and about” in their neighbourhood despite her age. They said they were shocked to learn about the strange circumstances surrounding her death.

“Toowong’s a very nice suburb (with) a lot of affluent people and properties,” said one neighbour, Kirby. “(It’s) very scary to think about what the sinister implications could be of this case.” 

Ms Trotter was planning to move to a retirement facility after selling her unit, where she had lived for over 40 years.

Published 24-April-2023

Lesley Trotter Update: Missing Toowong Woman’s Body Dumped in Bin Collected By Rubbish Truck

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. 

Published 9-April-2023