Forensic crews on scene of a house on the corner Charles Street and Brampton Avenue, Cranbrook after a body of an elderly woman was found in the backyard. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Forensic crews on scene of a house on the corner Charles Street and Brampton Avenue, Cranbrook after a body of an elderly woman was found in the backyard. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Video could hold key to death probe

CCTV could be key to solving the suspicious death of an elderly Townsville woman as investigators face the prospect of hunting a killer.

The 73-year-old woman was found dead in her home in Brampton Avenue, Cranbrook, by a member of the public about 10.30am yesterday.

Police seized security camera footage from nearby houses and businesses, looking for footage captured between 5am and 11am. The triple-0 caller who discovered the body said the woman had been "murdered".

Townsville Crime Services Group detective Acting Inspector Phil Watts said people often made that conclusion when they came across a dead body and investigators would rely on a post mortem examination to determine the cause of death.

That examination will take place in Cairns this morning.

A lad lays flowers of a house on the corner Charles Street and Brampton Avenue, Cranbrook after a body of an elderly woman was found in the backyard. Picture: Zak Simmonds
A lad lays flowers of a house on the corner Charles Street and Brampton Avenue, Cranbrook after a body of an elderly woman was found in the backyard. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Insp Watts said 15 detectives were working on the investigation, alongside scenes of crime officers and other police.

"This is the most serious matter that we deal with when someone has died for whatever reason … we can't rule out (murder) … we can't rule out that it's not suspicious," Insp Watts said.

"There was a deal of forensic evidence located … that takes many forms; we wouldn't be releasing any particulars at this point."

Outside the house yesterday a woman was screaming as police tried to console her.

Officers spent considerable time in the backyard of the property where it is understood the elderly woman's body was discovered.

Scenes of crime investigators photographed a damaged gate.

Insp Watts did not believe there was reason for the public to panic.

He said the deceased woman lived alone and neighbours said she had only recently moved into the house.

Nearby resident James Sproles said there was often police called to that part of town while neighbour Emanuel Chillemi only moved into his Charles St home three weeks ago and said the death was concerning, especially if it turned out to be murder.

Insp Watts urged anyone with information to contact police immediately through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Police Link on 131 444.



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