New CCTV clue could solve the Karen Ristevski murder case2:37
POLICE have released new security camera images they hope will lead to a breakthrough in the suspected murder of Victorian mother Karen Ristevski, whose body was found dumped in bushland in February.
The footage shows a “vehicle of interest”, which the Victoria Police Missing Persons Squad suspects is Ms Ristevski’s black Mercedes-Benz SLK coupe.
The vehicle, which has Mercedes-manufactured five-spoke wheels, is pictured driving northwest along Old Calder Highway over a railway crossing in the northwest Melbourne suburb of Diggers Rest at 11.12am on the day she disappeared, June 29, 2016.
Police suspect the car may have been driven further northwest to Gisborne or Mt Macedon about noon the same day.
The 47-year-old’s badly decomposed body was found wedged between the trunks of two fallen trees in Macedon Regional Park, an hour’s drive northwest of the Melbourne central business district, on February 20.
Police confirmed to the Herald Sun that Ms Ristevski’s 53-year-old husband Borce was a suspect in her murder, something his own lawyer declared just hours after her body was found.
“It’s pretty clear police have him as their number one suspect,” celebrity criminal defender Rob Stary said at the time.
Mr Ristevski’s mobile phone was tracked by police in Diggers Rest on the day of her disappearance.
The Mercedes was the last of six vehicles seen driving close together in the suburb that morning.
The other vehicles were a white Ford Ranger single-cab ute towing a yellow mini-excavator, a black Holden Commodore ute, a maroon Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive wagon, a white Honda Jazz wagon and a silver Kia Rio wagon.
Police hope to speak to the drivers of these vehicles or anyone who recognises any of the cars in the footage.
Detectives have already eliminated people who live in the area and who drive vehicles similar to the black Mercedes.
“Detectives are keen to speak with anyone again, regardless of whether they have spoken to police in the past about such sightings, to ensure that no stone is left unturned,” police said in a statement this morning.
Mr Ristevski said his wife walked out of their Avondale Heights home, in Melbourne’s northwest, on the morning of June 29 and never reappeared.
She left to “clear her head” after they had argued over money, according to Mr Ristevski.
He denies that he had anything to do with her death and their daughter Sarah has stood by him.
Family members have offered varying bizarre explanations for Ms Ristevski’s disappearance.
Mr Ristevski’s estranged son from a previous marriage, Anthony Rickard, told the Herald Sun that she was planning to leave her husband when their daughter Sarah turned 21. He has also claimed to have been having an affair with Ms Ristevski.
Meanwhile, her brother-in-law Vasko Ristevski claimed that she had staged her own disappearance to avoid family dramas and had fled to Hong Kong or the US.
“I don’t think she will come back. I reckon she’s gone for good,” he told reporters in August.
Anyone with information about the Mercedes, any of the other vehicles, or anything to do with the case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers by phone, 1800 333 000, or online.