A TIP-off has led police to the remains of missing mother-of-two Carly McBride and blown the murder investigation wide open.
Hunter Valley local area commander Superintendent Guy Guiana told a press conference on Thursday that detectives were keeping the exact information about the tip-off “under wraps” as they continued to evaluate the evidence from the crime scene.
Carly’s skeletal remains were discovered on Sunday in some bushland west of Scone, nearly two years after she disappeared while in Muswellbrook to visit one of her children.
Superintendent Guiana repeated police suspicions that they did not suspect Carly, 31, had been snatched off a street by a stranger.
“We don’t believe that this was a random act so we are looking into her past and as many people as we can find,’’ he said outside Scone police station.
But he stopped short of identifying any suspects in the case as “it is all too fresh”.
“It has taken us two years to get this breakthrough and we have a fairly vast volume of fresh evidence that we need to evaluate and until we have done that in a thorough fashion,’’ he said.
Superintendent Guiana later added: “A range of new evidence we have taken from the scene that will certainly strengthen the investigation.
“...we have put a lot of work into this in the past two years, the team here is pretty keen to solve this for Carly’s family and we have got so much new evidence now that it is going to take a lot of work but we are well into it.’’
Police addressed the media after the remains of missing woman Carly McBride were located near Scone on the weekend.
Video filmed by Betina Hughes.
IT was a phone call nearly two years in the making.
At first, the devastated family of missing Belmont woman Carly McBride had hung on to hope the young mother was still alive after she vanished on September 30, 2014.
But as the evidence that she had been murdered continued to grow, they grieved in secret as their hopes turned to finding the 31-year-old to allow her to, one day, rest in peace.
Father Steve McBride told Fairfax Media on Thursday of the relief he felt when he received the phone call from detectives that they had found Carly’s remains outside of Scone.
“I have got to say it is a fantastic result so far, and something I didn’t expect to be honest,’’ Mr McBride said.
“After two years I thought it could have gone on forever.’’
Strike Force Karabi detectives discovered Carly’s remains outside of Scone on Sunday, keeping the find to themselves to allow forensic and crime scene experts to go about their job without the prying eyes of the public.
She had been last seen on September 30, her new boyfriend telling police he had driven her from Belmont to Muswellbrook to visit her child at an ex-partner’s home.
The boyfriend said she never returned to their meeting spot.
Her ex-partner has told police that Carly left his Muswellbrook home to walk to nearby McDonalds following the visit.
No one has been charged over her disappearance and suspected murder.
“Obviously the police have not been twiddling their thumbs,’’ Mr McBride said.
“They have been just so great and we will never be able to thank them enough.
“The ball appears to be rolling fairly quickly now.’’
Mr McBride said he feared the day would never come where his family could say a proper goodbye to “our beautiful Carly”.
“It has given us great relief. We will now get to put her to rest and hopefully that will be quite quickly.’’
Earlier: For the past two years, the family of Carly McBride has sought answers about her disappearance.
And, this week, police found the remains of the missing woman near Scone.
Following a four-day operation, which involved forensic experts, a rescue squad, dog unit and officers from the Hunter Valley Local Area Command, police told Fairfax Media Upper Hunter on Thursday morning that Ms McBride had been found.
A post mortem examination was undertaken in Newcastle on Wednesday and the results confirmed the remains were those of Ms McBride.
“The investigation is still ongoing; we’ve treated it as a homicide from the early stages and that has not changed,” Detective Sergeant Ian Wright said.
“We are still treating it as a suspicious death at the moment.”
Ms McBride’s family has been notified of the discovery.
In June last year, her parents Steve McBride and Lorraine Williams, made a public plea for help at a media conference at Muswellbrook.
“It has left us all very sad and devastated over her loss,” her father said at the time.
Hunter Valley LAC’s Acting Commander Guy Guiana said police would not slow down after finding Ms McBride.
“At least it’s good for the family to put her to rest, but there’s a lot more work to be done yet,” he said.
Police were alerted of Ms McBride’s disappearance on September 30, 2014, when she failed to return to her Belmont home and couldn't be located or contacted.
A friend organised to collect the mother-of-two at a fast food outlet in Muswellbrook, but she never arrived.
In the early days after Ms McBride was reported missing, police reviewed CCTV footage from local businesses and conducted extensive searches along the banks of the Hunter River and around the Skellatar Stock Route in Muswellbrook.
She was last seen on Calgaroo Avenue wearing a yellow top, light blue jeans, sandals and carrying a tan handbag.
Strike Force Karabi was set up to find Ms McBride and, in April 2015, detectives investigating her disappearance charged a man with drug and firearm offences.
Officers from Strike Force Karabi executed search warrants at three addresses, which included Gundy Road, Scone; Ted Clay Street, Muswellbrook; and Hayes Street, Scone.
At those properties three firearms, a silencer and an extendable baton were seized as well as a substance suspected of being methamphetamine and $5875 in cash.
A 24-year-old man was arrested at the Ted Clay Street address.
He was taken to Muswellbrook Police Station where he was charged with 13 offences relating to the possession and supply of methamphetamine, possession of firearms, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Investigators stressed the charges did not relate to the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Ms McBride.
However, these did arise from that same line of enquiries.