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ABC News
ABC News

Police suspend search of landfill site for missing woman Lesley Trotter's body

Lesley Trotter, 78, was reported missing on March 28. (ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

Police have suspended their search at an Ipswich dump for missing Toowong woman Lesley Trotter, whose body is believed to have been put in a wheelie bin outside her home last month.

Ms Trotter last spoke to family on March 27 and was reported missing from her home on March 28.

By April 7, police believed Ms Trotter was dead and the investigation shifted from a missing person to a sudden death.

"After more than a month since commencing the search, police have been unable to locate Ms Trotter's body," Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham said.

"A team of 10 detectives remain committed to solving the disappearance of Ms Trotter."

Detective Superintendent Massingham, the Regional Crime Coordinator for the Brisbane region, said the decision to suspend the Swanbank landfill search was made after consultation with forensic experts and landfill engineers.

The search has now been suspended.  (ABC News)

Investigators believe Ms Trotter's body was inside a bin on the footpath outside her Maryvale Street home on March 28, which was then collected by a rubbish truck.

Detective Superintendent Massingham said last month that the rubbish from that bin was dropped into a pit at the Nudgee Waste Transfer Station, along with loads from 22 other trucks, compressed and taken to dumps at Rochedale and Swanbank.

Police appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Sifting through the waste

Police began sifting by hand through 3,000 tonnes of waste at the Swanbank Renewable Energy and Waste Management Facility in mid-April, weeks after Ms Trotter's body was believed to have been taken to the dump. 

They were joined by the army, where searchers used their hands and rakes to find her remains in waste which had been "exhumed from the ground [and] tipped into lanes" about 30 centimetres deep, police said at the time. 

It was anticipated they would sift through 200 tonnes of rubbish a day, in what was described as a "hand-and-eye" search, covering an area described by Detective Superintendent Massingham at the time as "quite enormous".

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