Body found in Ju Zhang search to be identified early next week

Body found in Ju Zhang search to be identified early next week

06/19/2021

Police searching for missing mother Ju Zhang expect to know on Monday or Tuesday the results of a post mortem on a body found at a Melbourne tip this week.

The examination is being conducted over the weekend after the human remains were found at a landfill site in Wollert, in Melbourne’s north, as part of an investigation into the suspicious disappearance of Ms Zhang, also known as Kelly.

Ju Zhang was last seen on February 1 at her Epping home. Credit:Victoria Police

Ms Zhang was last seen at the home she shared with her eight-year-old son on Winchester Avenue in Epping on the evening of February 1.

Her boyfriend, Joon Seong Tan, 35, was charged with her murder on February 11 after being stopped by police while allegedly trying to catch a flight at Melbourne Airport.

Police conducted several significant searches in an effort to locate Ms Zhang.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that what appeared to be human remains were found on Friday about 2pm. They are yet to be formally identified.

“I commend the missing persons squad, crime command and other members of Victoria Police for their tireless efforts during this investigation,” Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said.

“Our members have worked under very difficult and trying conditions to ensure that every avenue of enquiry has been exhausted, so we could provide answers to Ju’s family and friends.

“We know this has been an incredibly difficult and traumatic time for them. We hope that this will bring the closure they need and Ju can finally be laid to rest.”

Ms Zhang’s parents arrived in Australia from China several weeks ago. They completed two weeks in hotel quarantine in Sydney and are now staying in Melbourne.

The head of the missing persons squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said on Tuesday the family were still hopeful their daughter was alive.

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper from Victoria Police’s Missing Persons Squad.Credit:Penny Stephen

Detective Inspector Stamper would not give details on the information police had received that pointed to the site, except to say there had been a “very prolonged investigation, which has led us here today”.

Site operator Hanson, the Environment Protection Authority and the local council have been in talks with police for several weeks about the search.

With the assistance of the operators, police were able to narrow down their area of interest at the site.

Police believe the 33-year-old was wearing a pink nightgown and possibly pink slippers when she went missing.

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