PROGRESS: Police are excited about developments in their investigations of the skull found in forest near Tin Can Bay.
PROGRESS: Police are excited about developments in their investigations of the skull found in forest near Tin Can Bay. Renee Pilcher

Tooth key to skull found in Toolara State Forest

A TOOTH could hold the key to whether the skull found in the Toolara State Forest on April 10 is linked to the unidentified, limbless torso found set alight at Cedar Pocket last September.

Wide Bay Burnett Detective Inspector Bruce McNab, in charge of both homicide investigations, said forensic testing was under way and included extracting DNA from a tooth found in the skull.

He said despite what television crime shows depicted, isolating, extracting and testing the DNA was a lengthy and tricky process, made longer when urgent testing for other matters took precedence in the queue.

He said the testing process, which is undertaken at the John Tonge Centre in Brisbane, includes forensic scientists firstly extracting DNA samples, then running the results against a data base. He said the results then needed to be peer-reviewed by other scientists for accuracy before they were forwarded to police.

"The mere procedure of extracting the DNA is quite lengthy," Det Insp McNab said. "It's not (television program) CSI ... it does take time."

He also said work on remodelling a face based on the dimensions of the skull was still in the pipelines.

In the meantime, Det Insp McNab said detectives continued with leads on both the Cedar Pocket and Toolara Forest investigation.

For now, however, it is not certain whether police are dealing with one or two murders.