Daily telegraph
Daily telegraph

Boyfriend arrested over the 2011 death of Valmai Birch

POLICE have arrested the former boyfriend of Valmai Birch, whose body was found stuffed in a wheelie bin in her apartment near Wollongong in 2011.

A Homicide Squad investigation began after Ms Birch's neighbours reported a foul odour coming from her unit on Woods Ave, Woonona about 10pm on Monday, March 22 that year. Her remains were found in a wheelie bin in her apartment.

 

The former partner of Valmai Birch was arrested this morning in Kiama. Picture: NSW Police
The former partner of Valmai Birch was arrested this morning in Kiama. Picture: NSW Police

 

Valmai Birch’s body was found in a wheelie bin.
Valmai Birch’s body was found in a wheelie bin.

Ms Birch's 52-year-old de facto partner at the time of her death was a suspect but was not charged.

His arrest at a home in Kiama this morning came after Strike Force Gareth investigators, including local Wollongong detectives, referred their brief of evidence to the Office Director of Public Prosecutions.

"Following advice provided to police by the ODPP, and following further inquiries, strike force detectives, assisted by Southern Region Operations Support Group, arrested a 52-year-old man at a home at Kiama about 7.30am today," police said in a statement.

Neighbours reported a foul odour coming from a unit.
Neighbours reported a foul odour coming from a unit.

The man was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station where officers say they expect to charge him with manslaughter.

A CCTV image of Ms Birch's final known sighting, at Wollongong train station, was released in July 2014 in the hope someone would come forward with information on her movements.

Forensic officers at the scene in 2011.
Forensic officers at the scene in 2011.