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Police say they have identified Jill Meagher walking on Sydney St, pictured, about ten minutes after she left her friends in a bar. She was about 350m from home. Google Maps
Jill Meagher

Jill Meagher identified on CCTV as police investigate 'planted' bag

Police investigating the disappearance of Jill Meagher in Melbourne are considering the possibility that her handbag was planted.

POLICE IN MELBOURNE investigating the disappearance of Irish woman Jill Meagher over the weekend believe they have identified images of the missing woman on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Local police say CCTV footage shows the 29-year-old walking in the direction of her apartment shortly after 1:40am in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The sighting is about ten minutes after she had last been seen, leaving a bar where she had been socialising with work colleagues, and is about 350 metres from her home on nearby Lux Way.

Police are meanwhile now investigating whether the missing woman’s handbag, found on a side street yesterday, was deliberately planted there.

The Herald Sun reports that police believe it odd that a comprehensive search of a street about 500 metres from her home in the suburb of Brunswick had revealed no sign of the bag – only for the item, still containing many of Jill’s belongings, to show up later.

“On Sunday police conducted a full line search up and around Hope St,” Detective inspector John Potter told the paper.

“There’s two options – the original search found nothing and then on Monday the bag was found by a local resident. You’ve got to ask which is true.”

He added that the original police search of the area, conducted over the weekend shortly after her disappearance, had left “no stone unturned”.

The handbag had included Jill’s identification but not her mobile phone, which she had used to call her brother in her native Drogheda while on her way home. She had been checking on the health of her father, who had recently been unwell.

Her brother Michael, who has now travelled to Australia to help in the search efforts, said Jill had sounded uneasy on the phone and hung up abruptly. She had not answered when he tried to call her back.

Local radio station 3AW points out that a Facebook page set up to help the search efforts – which has now attracted over 60,000 ‘Likes’ – has attracted testimony from other local women who reported feeling threatened by a car following them – in areas close to where Jill was last seen.

Police have meanwhile removed as many as six bags of potential evidence from the apartment Jill shared with her husband Tom, who told the Herald Sun he could not allow himself to believe his wife may never be found.

“I just hope somebody saw something or she will just walk through the door,” it quoted Tom as saying.

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