Search for Bay woman’s body intensifies as rains ease
EXCAVATION efforts at the Maryborough dump gained momentum as police continued the search for the body of missing Hervey Bay woman Shae Francis.
Officers started sifting through debris at an identified area of the Ariadne St facility on Monday.
Drier conditions earlier meant investigators could spend more time at the site where new information suggested Ms Francis's body might be located.
The 35-year-old was last seen in October 2018 but was only reported missing in March last year.
Her former partner Jason Cooper is due in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday this week.
Mr Cooper is facing charges of manslaughter, interfering with a corpse and stealing.
The 44-year-old was extradited from Victoria to Queensland in June.
Wide Bay District Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said his team was following up on a fresh lead that Ms Francis's body was dumped in an industrial bin on a footpath in Torquay.
Council records were scrutinised to pinpoint the area where the bin was emptied.
Two excavators were being used to dig up an area about the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
Officers raked through the soil in a demarcated search zone and a cadaver dog was brought in to identify any possible human remains.
Anything of interest, including clothing, would be analysed.
Inspector Pettiford was hopeful the search would yield positive results so Ms Francis's loved ones could gain some sort of closure.