Police search for evidence and remains of Michael Purse

Detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Branch today conducted a search in the Adelaide Plains, looking for evidence relating to the murder of Michael Jeffrey Purse, who is believed to have been buried in a shallow grave in the area.

Detectives have previously searched the Adelaide Plains but today, armed with new information, they have been able to pinpoint areas they believe are of interest to the investigation.

Investigations have led police to an area between Balaklava and Mallala, where it is believed that the body of Mr Purse was buried in a shallow roadside grave.

Mr Purse, aged 32 at the time he went missing, is understood to have met with foul play at a Kilburn address on Thursday 7 February 2019.

The search is expected to take a number of days and will involve 25 staff from Major Crime Investigation Branch, STAR Group and State Emergency Service volunteers. The search will encompass a 28-kilometre foot search of roadside vegetation as well as a number of other key locations. Other search areas that have been identified include verges, which require all terrain vehicles and other techniques to search these areas.

Detective Inspector Brett Featherby said while the information is not specific, we are now confident that we are in the correct location to locate Michael’s remains. “Although four years have passed since Michael was murdered, and a number of changes from both environmental and human factors have occurred, we remain committed to locate Michael’s remains and return them to his family.”

Further searches haven’t been ruled out.

Police have identified that a green 2000 Daewoo Lanos hatch, pictured, is believed to have been involved in the disposal of Michael’s body. Police are seeking assistance from property owners or anyone who was in the identified search areas, who believe they witnessed the vehicle or any suspicious activity, or anyone who located clothing or witnessed disturbed soil in the following locations around the time of the murder, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au

You can remain anonymous.

The area of interest is:

Balaklava Road, south to the Mallala township, east of Traeger Road and through the areas of Salter Springs, Alma and Hamley Bridge. (see map)

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