Saturday, 29 June 2013

The hunt for Donald Mackay continues

DonaldMacKayThe murder of prominent anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay is one of Australia’s longest running mysteries. On July 15th 1977 Donald Mackay disappeared, and was presumed murdered due to his anti-drug stance and his reporting of a large marijuana crop in Coleambly to Sydney drug squad detectives.

Police have begun searching a property in Hay for Donald’s remains following a tip-off from an unnamed source in the hope that the remains could provide a means to solve the long running murder case.

Associate Professor David Ranson from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Monash University believes that much can still be learned from the remains.

“It depends what the state of the body is, but in a situation where it has been that period of time, you may be dealing with just skeletal remains,” Dr Ranson said.

According to Dr Ranson anthropologists would first determine gender, approximate age and race, before ascertaining the victim’s height and looking for evidence of damage or trauma.

“In some cases, damage to the bones will suggest a cause of death – whether it be damage to a rib that could indicate it was hit by a knife and therefore the victim may have been stabbed to the heart or lungs,” Dr Ranson said.

If any remains are found they could form a vital piece of evidence, and potentially bring this long-running mystery to an end.

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