SLOW PROCESS: Detective Senior Sergeant Glen Farmer and Detective Superintendent Brian J. Wilkins at Green Lake, which is being drained in the hope of finding the body of Dulcie Birt.
SLOW PROCESS: Detective Senior Sergeant Glen Farmer and Detective Superintendent Brian J. Wilkins at Green Lake, which is being drained in the hope of finding the body of Dulcie Birt.

Police begin hunt for Dulcie Birt

POLICE have commenced the massive task of half-emptying a lake as the investigation into the murder of Dulcie Birt continues.

Members of the Brisbane-based homicide squad yesterday inspected Green Lakes, at Riverview, where police, the New Hope coal mining company and the SES are overseeing the drainage of about 200 million litres of water.

With the pumping already well underway, the lake is about three metres shallower, but it will be another week before police are ready to send in the search divers.

Detective Inspector Mick Niland said the lake was too deep for divers to properly explore when police first combed the scrub near Dulcie’s Riverview home last month.

The expensive pumping operation will bring the water level down to about 15m, after which time police are confident they will find Dulcie’s body somewhere in the dam.

“We’ve gone through about three metres of water so far,” Inspector Niland said yesterday.

“We’re pumping water out at a rate of between one and two metres every 24 hours, so we consider that it will be complete in seven to 10 days and our police divers will then take to the water.”

Water sucked from Green Lakes is being piped to another lake about 300m away.

Workmen installed the makeshift pipes between the two dams earlier this week.

Police consulted the Environmental Protection Agency before installing the equipment required to do the job.

Inspector Niland said police were continuing with other areas of the investigation in the meantime, including forensic testing of a second vehicle which police believe is connected with the murder.

“Every day we’ve got new information and every day we have vital witnesses coming forward,” he said.

“We’ve had the homicide squad involved and we’ve had good support and assistance from them.”

Dulcie Birt, 31, was last seen at her house on Old Ipswich Road, Riverview, on October 21.

Police launched a murder investigation, codenamed Operation Hotel Solemn, a little less than a month later.

Anyone with information that could assist police should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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