POLICE IN AUSTRALIA investigating the disappearance of Irish woman Jill Meagher have called in homicide detectives after a handbag containing her personal belongings was discovered only a short walk from her home.
The bag was found in a laneway off Hope Street – a street which would not feature on the ‘main’ route between her home and the bar she was last seen in, but which she could have taken if she had wanted to take a short-cut home.
That street is about 700m from Etiquette Bar, where she was last seen by friends at 1:30am on Saturday morning, and about 500m from her home in Lux Way in the suburb of Brunswick.
“From what we understand she left about 1.30 in the morning… she was offered a ride home but she chose to walk home,” detective acting Sergeant Steve Bull told ABC News.
ABC also quoted Meagher’s husband Tom who said the side street on which Jill’s bag was found was on “the way we normally walk home”.
The Herald Sun reports that the handbag contained Jill’s identification and some other belongings, but didn’t include her mobile phone. It also quoted police who said her phone had not been used, nor had her bank accounts being accessed.
The missing woman’s brother Michael McKeon, who has travelled to Australia to assist in the search, said he believed he was last person to speak to her. She had called him while on her walk home to check on their father, who had been unwell in recent weeks.
“”She was just calling to see how things were,” McKeon told the Herald Sun.
She hung up and just sounded a little worried. It sounded like she was on her way home. I called back a few times and she never answered.
A Facebook page set up to spread details about the 29-year-old’s disappearance had attracted almost 28,000 ‘Likes’ at the time of publication.
Drogheda native Meagher, who had worked in UCD’s student bar between 2000 and 2003 during her time there, was an employee of ABC radio in Melbourne. She and her husband had moved to Australia three years ago.