Around the State
❏ THE mysterious disappearance of a Melbourne woman on the Atherton Tableland is the focus of an intense new investigation, with police exploring the possibility she was murdered.
Days before the 12-month anniversary of Katie O’Shea’s shock disappearance, senior detectives stopped short of upgrading her case to a homicide investigation but concede she may be the victim of foul play.
‘‘As time goes on, we must consider the possibility,’’ Far Northern Regional Crime coordinator Det Insp John Harris said.
Ms O’Shea, 44, was last seen on December 29 when her son, who she was staying with at Ravenshoe, gave her a lift to Jack St, Atherton, where she planned to play pool at a hotel.
She was reported missing on January 13 when she failed to return home.
Det Insp Harris said it seemed unlikely Ms O’Shea would go missing by choice. ❏ WHEN seven pythons began cracking holes in their eggs on the Gold Coast this week, they embarked on perhaps the most dangerous leg of a life filled with threats.
The trigger for the hatching process came some time on December 21 when the first of the slippery siblings at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary exposed its ‘egg tooth’, slicing a hole in its egg.
‘‘There’s a lot of tricks along the way,’’ the sanctuary’s senior reptile keeper, Ben Whittle, said.
The act of breaking out of an egg is filled with risk.
Hatching babies can just turn around and return inside the egg, risking drowning in the yolk, said reptile handler Natalie Hill.
But each of the babies of this clutch — infant black-headed pythons are the largest babies of all pythons — pushed out further, slowly coming to terms with conditions outside the egg.
‘‘They come out when they feel safe,’’ Mr Whittle said.