Australia

Mystery surrounds discovery of woman’s body in remote Blue Mountains dam

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A Newcastle musician's body was found naked without any possessions near densely forested and closed area of a NSW dam, police have revealed.

Detectives are trying to piece together the final movements of a NSW woman whose remains were found in a Blue Mountains dam eight months after she went missing.

Cecilia Devine, 42, was captured on CCTV cameras walking from a hotel and down a main street in Katoomba on September 6, 2018.

The footage shows her buying some food, a scarf, a jumper and shoes from Katoomba shops. 

That was the last time she was seen alive.

Police are investigating the death of Cecilia Devine.
Police are investigating the death of Cecilia Devine.
NSW Police Force

She had been reported missing a day earlier from Waratah, a suburb in Newcastle, after family and friends were unable to find or contact her.

Police are still trying to piece together her final moments before she was found dead at a Blue Mountains water treatment plant - including what happened to the items she purchased on camera.

They confirmed on Wednesday that nothing was found on Ms Devine's body or in the surrounding area.

"It had been there a fair while," Detective Inspector Scott McAlpine told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

"It's a closed-off area, it's not open to the public because it's a catchment area for the Sydney water authority. Tourists wouldn't probably go there as a matter of course."

CCTV captured Ms Devine walking from a hotel on Katoomba St.
CCTV captured Ms Devine walking from a hotel on Katoomba St.
NSW Police Force

In March, staff from a water treatment facility in Katoomba discovered human remains in the nearby Upper Cascade Creek dam.

Forensic testing later confirmed they belonged to Ms Devine.

Police have searched the dense bushland and dam several times without success and still have not determined a cause of death.

At this stage, they are treating the death as suspicious and are being assisted by the Homicide Squad.

"We're open to all avenues of investigation," Det Insp McAlpine said.

"We believe there are people out there who spoke with Cecilia or saw her at the time and we urge them to come forward.

"We're all wanting the same outcome - to find answers for Cecilia's loved ones. They need to know what happened to her and how she came to be where she was." 

The grisly discovery in March has prompted NSW Police Force to establish Strike Force Eking, which is being assisted by detectives from the Homicide Squad.

They launched a public appeal on Wednesday as they investigate Ms Devine's final hours and the circumstances surrounding her death.

Police released the CCTV in the hope someone will come forward.
Police released the CCTV in the hope someone will come forward.
NSW Police Force

Ms Devine, who was also known as Kristen Pearson, loved making music and was "probably way too easy going", her brother during the public appeal for information.

"She just loved being part of the social life, that's where she was devoted with her singing," Nathan Pearson told reporters.

"She'd assimilate with anyone."

Another brother, Troy Pearson, revealed Ms Devine suffered from bipolar disorder, a chronic mental health condition.

"That plays a big part in her issue," he said.

With AAP

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