The son of Gold Coast woman Wendy Sleeman is in custody after her body was found in the boot of a car in Brisbane on Thursday, Queensland Police say.
She has been missing since Tuesday.
Per The Courier Mail, 30-year-old Slade Murdok was arrested on Wednesday night and charged with one count each of unlawful stalking, burglary, assault occasioning bodily harm, kidnapping, attempted arson and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
He appeared at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday and was refused bail. He has not been charged with any crime relating to a death.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith told reporters on Thursday night that although the body was yet to be formally identified, police believed “it certainly appeared” to be Sleeman.
“It is too early to say what the injuries are or the extent of injuries,” he said.
The body was found in the boot of a blue Honda Jazz — which is understood to have been owned by Sleeman — parked in a rented garage on Thondley Street in Windsor.
Smith said the forensic examination of electronic devices led them to the location, which he described as a “tragic scene”.
He said the owner of the garage was an “innocent party”.
“There is no formal relationship [with the owner] here,” he said.
“Investigators have told me that [the owner of the garage] is quite shocked. It is not something that you expect.”
Smith alleged Murdok had rented the garage with “some pre-meditation”.
Per The Courier Mail, Sleeman reportedly called the police on Tuesday with concerns for her welfare after Murdok was allegedly spotted near her workplace in Surfers Paradise.
Hours later, Sleeman arrived at her Elanora home to find a window had been smashed and told the police she believed her son was nearby, per 9News.
When police arrived half an hour later, Sleeman was missing and a Honda Jazz allegedly driven by Murdok was leaving the property at “considerable speed”.
As reported by The Courier Mail, officers found a trail of blood leading from the home’s bathroom to the driveway.
Smith said the police are urging people who may have seen the blue Honda Jazz with the number plate 952AT4 to contact them.
“Just because we have located the car, we are still very keen to hear from people who have seen it because we want to track [its] movements right across the south-east,” he said.
“That little piece [of information] is what we want.”
I said this when I reported on the devastating alleged murder of 28-year-old Western Sydney woman Dayna Isaac just over a week ago — I am exhausted. My heart hurts.
I acknowledge my privilege in reporting on these distressing stories from the security of my home. But I can’t write an article about a woman losing her life to violence from men without breaking down in tears and needing to step away from my laptop.
The families and friends mourning their loved ones don’t have that same privilege. They will carry the trauma of losing a Mum, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother, partner or friend at the violent hands of a man for the rest of their lives.
Does our government care about them, or the women who have been brutally murdered? Do our leaders read the news and understand how horribly frequent these cruel deaths are?
Because at this point it feels like the answer is no.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.