Remains found in landfill formally identified as Melbourne mother Ju Zhang

Remains found in landfill formally identified as Melbourne mother Ju Zhang

June 23, 2021

Human remains found at a landfill site in the city’s north last week have been formally identified as Melbourne mother Ju Zhang.

On the fourth day of the police search for Ms Zhang at a tip in Wollert, officers found what they believed to be human remains on Friday afternoon.

Melbourne mother Ju Zhang.

A police spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine had examined the remains and a coroner had determined they had been formally identified as the 33-year-old woman.

“The Victoria Police missing persons squad would again like to acknowledge the support and assistance of numerous members of the community in this investigation and offer our condolences to the family,” she said.

“As the matter is before the courts, there will be no further statements.”

Police search a landfill site in Wollert as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Ju Zhang. Credit:Nine News

Ms Zhang, also known as Kelly, was last seen at her home on Winchester Avenue in Epping on the evening of February 1.

Her boyfriend, Joon Seong Tan, 35, was charged with her murder on February 11. Police conducted several significant searches in an effort to locate her body.

Ms Zhang’s parents arrived in Australia from China several weeks ago. They completed two weeks in hotel quarantine in Sydney and are now staying in Melbourne. Ms Zhang had an eight-year-old son.

When the search was initiated, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper would not give details on the information police had received that pointed to the site, except to say there had been a “very prolonged investigation, which has led us here”.

In late February, dozens of police scoured waterways and thick bushland in Heidelberg West and Ivanhoe.

Mr Tan faced court on February 12, when police told a magistrate they were analysing 3500 hours of CCTV and translating text messages from Mandarin to English as part of the investigation.

He did not apply for bail and will next face court on July 16.

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