Homicide Squad detectives charge man over murder of Christine Neilan

Homicide Squad detectives have charged a man with murder following an investigation into the death of a woman in the state’s north west last year.

Just before 8am on Thursday 9 January 2020, emergency services were called to bushland near Sunflash Street and Black Prince Drive at Lightning Ridge, following the discovery of a woman’s body.

The woman was formally identified as 39-year-old local, Christine Neilan.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from serious head injuries.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Central North Police District established Strike Force Bullarook to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

As a part of ongoing investigations, Homicide Squad detectives conducted an extensive search of a property, and surrounding bushland at Lightning Ridge, between last Thursday (14 October 2021) and Sunday (17 October 2021).

Strike Force Bullarook detectives were assisted throughout the search by officers from across Western Region, the Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command (FETS), the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit, Marine Area Command, and the Dog Unit.

Following further extensive inquiries, a 73-year-old man was arrested at a Lightning Ridge property just after 10am yesterday (Monday 19 October 2021).

He was taken to Walgett Police Station and charged with murder.

The Lightning Ridge man has been refused bail and will appear at Walgett Local Court today (Tuesday 19 October 2021).

Shortly after the arrest, Strike Force Bullarook investigators executed a crime scene warrant at the property and surrounds, which will continue today.

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