Det Insp Bruce McNab.
Det Insp Bruce McNab. Craig Warhurst

Headless murder victim 'subdued, killed'

THE victim of the Cedar Pocket mutilation murder was subdued in a struggle and then dismembered, police say.

His hands were cut off and his torso separated at the rib cage, with the neck severed at the collarbone, probably with a power saw.

Det Insp Bruce McNab said the crime was extensively planned, including the dismemberment and disposal of the torso.

He said the dismemberment was thought to be a ploy to prevent identification of the victim.

He said the woman who has now emerged as a principal suspect was seen beside and in an orange to bronze compact vehicle, possibly a hatchback, were in the area for about an hour, including for 20 to 30 minutes at the Cedar Pocket Rd crime scene.

"Some witnesses had seen her in the driver's seat of the car, outside the vehicle near the front passenger door and leaning over the grassy area where the remains were later found.

Det Insp McNab said the woman appeared to have deliberately avoided eye contact with passing motorists.

Although no cars matching the description have been located in the nearby area, police are examining CCTV footage from service stations, main roads, toll bridges, convenience stores and ATMs over a wide area.

A remaining mystery is why the body was dumped at that location, with much more remote country nearby, including forestry and bush.