Mystery bones linked to teen’s murder
A DOZEN human bones found near a backpack belonging to a Sydney teenager murdered 15 years ago were possibly part of a collection held by her killer, a court has heard.
Lyndsay van Blanken was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend in November 2003.
The 18-year-old's body was found seven weeks later, stuffed in a cricket bag in the store room of an eastern suburbs unit block.
William Matheson was jailed for at least 18 years for her murder in 2006.
A decade later, a bag belonging to Ms van Blanken - containing a mobile phone, discman, among other things - was discovered at a construction site in Randwick. Around it were about 40 pieces of bone - 12 of which were human and the rest mostly from unidentified animals, NSW Coroner's Court was told on Friday.
Following a short inquest, deputy state coroner Derek Lee said evidence suggested they were likely from an anatomy teaching collection. They belonged to at least two females but could be from up to 11 different bodies.
No evidence was uncovered to identify the people or how they died, Mr Lee said. Detective Sergeant Matthew Fulham, the officer in charge of the investigation, told the court there was a chance Matheson put them there.
He was known to collect bones, but it was possible he may have been unaware they were human or inadvertently picked up the remains, including part of a skull, the court heard.
"I believe they would have been buried shortly after Lynsday's murder in November 2003," Det Sgt Fulham said.
Matheson refused to speak to the detective when asked about the bones. "(He) exercised his right to silence." Ms van Blanken's mother, Cynthia Pleasant, was in court for the brief inquest.