Missing Drogheda woman made phone call before vanishing
on 24/09/2012 09:20:10
Homicide squad detectives have taken over the investigation into the disappearance of an Irish woman in Australia, police have said.
Jill Meagher, from Drogheda, Co Louth, was last seen in the early hours of Saturday after a night out with colleagues in Melbourne.
The 29-year-old's husband raised the alarm when she did not arrive at their home less than a mile from Bar Etiquette in Sydney Road, Brunswick, which she left at around 1.30am.
ABC Reporter in Melbourne, Tim Pope, has said Jill's family have told reporters about the last contact they had with her.
Mr Pope said: "Jill apparently called her brother in the early hours of Saturday morning, so really just minutes before she is thought to have vanished.
"They say that she sounded worried during the call, it was just a short phone call and there were people around her apparently. Then they were unable to call her back, they just went straight through to voicemail from that point onwards."
Detective Inspector John Potter, of Victoria Police, said the circumstances of the case are worrying.
"We're hopeful for the best, obviously, but we have some concerns that she may have met with foul play," he added.
Police revealed that a handbag containing several items believed to belong to Mrs Meagher was found in a laneway off Hope Street this morning.
A crime scene has been cordoned off and officers are continuing to search the local area and speak to residents.
Mrs Meagher had been out with colleagues from Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.
Police have been told she left the bar with the intention of walking home and are concerned over her disappearance, which is out of character.
She was reported missing on Saturday morning by her husband Thomas, from Cabinteely in Dublin, who has said he is "freaking out" since she vanished.
Her bank card has not been used and her mobile phone has been switched off.
Detectives are seeking CCTV footage to help them find Mrs Meagher, but the bar where she was last seen did not have any cameras.
Her disappearance has sparked a huge social media campaign to find her, with well-known presenters from ABC helping to spread the message.
Mrs Meagher is described as being about 5ft 5in (165cm) and of slim build with a fair complexion, long curly black hair and brown eyes.
She was wearing a blue dress, black jacket, black patterned stockings and high heels.