car, strangled her and left her in Carole Park.
He claimed he returned on the Saturday night to bury her at the bottom of a stormwater drain, digging until he “hit cement”.
Ian came forward in 2016, prompting police to conduct a search of the drain. That, in turn, resulted in a couple coming forward to report seeing strange activity in the same place days after Sharron had disappeared.
The couple told police they had seen a taxi parked on the side of the road with the driv- er’s door and passenger’s door open and the lights on. Thinking that the driver had been robbed, they stood by the car discussing what to do.
A neighbour joined them for a while but then returned home.
After 10 minutes, as the couple was about to leave, they told police the driver emerged from the bush carrying a white shovel.
They described him as 5’6” (166cm), very overweight, bald on top but with dark hair on the sides and back with olive skin, possibly Greek or Italian. They said the man looked like actor Danny DeVito.
The man had his shirt unbuttoned, was sweaty and car- rying a white shovel with a flat head.
When they asked if he was OK, the man replied “can’t a man go for a s---?” before driving away.
On his deathbed, Mulvihill told his son he “nearly got caught” the night he buried her, describing the same white shovel that he’d been carrying.
“The day that he moved Sharron Phillips, he was
caught by the side of the road,” Ian said.
“A guy said ‘mate, what are you doing?’ ”
Ian said his father told him to go to police with the Carole Park location because it was time to “give the girls back”, claiming that Sharron was not his only victim.
Police searched the drain but believe it had been cleared some time around 2001.
MURDER HUNT: Signs in the 1986 quest for a killer, Raymond Mulvihill, the phone booth, Sharron Phillips, horseback search.