Frontier town in drug fear
CO O K T O W N ’ S bo o m i n g drug trade is being scrutinised as police seek a motive for the suspected murder of mum- oftwo Donna Steele.
Residents have told of rampant ice and marijuana use in the frontier town, as police call for witnesses to come forward regardless of their criminal past.
Almost a week after the discovery of Ms Steele’s body, wrapped and floating in a creek, detectives are swarming the town in search of answers.
Their presence has generated both relief and trepidation in the community.
At a rural property down the road from where Ms Steele’s body was found, a landholder complains about how the area has changed.
It’s not drugs he’s worried about – it’s the ever- growing number of police in recent years.
“I come up here about 13 years ago to retire. We had a bit of freedom in them days but we’re losing it now,” he says.
He’s 71 but declines to provide his name, explaining: “I’m hiding from the government.”
Another long- time resident says that in an area where many families have been affected by ice, people are assuming a drug link to the case in some form.
She says there are “labs all over the place” and recounts a “massive explosion” from a suspected drug lab that rocked the countryside last year.
“I believe drugs are a part of this whole business. Drugs have always been in this community,” she says.