Police have made “substantial” progress with investigating the death of a 51-year-old woman who was found unresponsive in a “confronting” crime scene.
On February 16, Queensland police were called to conduct a welfare check on a woman in Bongaree at Bribie Island after a neighbour had reported disturbances at the woman’s address the night before.
Officers found the woman, later identified as mother of two Janet Guthrie, unresponsive inside a home just before 9pm, before declaring the property a crime scene and commencing a homicide investigation.
Moreton District Crime Group Detective Inspector Ben Fadian has appealed to members of the public who might have information about a white 2000 Isuzu truck seen in the area on February 15 and 16.
The vehicle was seen at around 5pm on Thursday heading towards Bribie Island from the mainland, then at Bongaree between 5-5.10pm.
It was then seen parked at the Aldi store on Goodwin Dr from 5.12-9.49pm, before driving towards the mainland at 9.53pm.
It was then sighted at Beachmere between 10-11pm, before finally heading to Margate at 12.26am.
“We’re particularly interested in CCTV footage and dashcam footage people might have of this vehicle, as we believe that may progress our investigation,” Inspector Fadian said.
He said police were working to find out what happened, but can’t put a timeline on how quickly they will find results.
“An autopsy has been completed but I’m not positioned with the results of that autopsy at this stage,” he said.
“Since Thursday night when this matter was brought to police attention, we’ve conducted extensive investigations; local detectives have been assisted by the homicide group, we’ve received assistance from the SES in terms of searching areas on Bribie Island and we have the dog squad out there today at that location conducting searches of the canal. We’ve also been assisted by our forensic units.
“Our determination is to achieve a result with this and I can’t put a timeline on that, I’m sorry.”
Inspector Fadian told reporters on Friday it was the second time in as many weeks police had been called to the home. He said police had walked into a “very confronting” scene.
“To date, our information is the deceased lady was the only person living at the home at that time,” Inspector Fadian said.
“At this stage, our scientific section has conducted examinations inside the dwelling of the house, we’ve doorknocked the area, we’ve taken witness statements and we’re speaking to people within the area who may have information about what’s occurred.”
A friend of Ms Guthrie, Trudy Walsh, organised a GoFundMe page on behalf of Ms Guthrie’s two daughters.
“Due to the unforeseen tragic circumstances of the loss of Janet, we are raising funds on behalf of Tiahni and India to help ease the financial pressures,” Ms Walsh wrote.
“Janet was not only a devoted mother and friend to many, but also a strong devoted pillar of the community.”
In an emotional tribute, Ms Guthrie’s ex-husband, Stuart Wright, took to social media to say goodbye to the “mother to my beautiful daughters.”
“Janet and I shared a complicated relationship of more than 20 years and while we didn’t always get along or agree with other, we did share a common love for our girls and a commitment to their wellbeing. And no child deserves to have to go through what my girls are going through at the moment,” Mr Wright wrote.
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