Mansfield Courier

Suspicious death an active investigat­ion

Alpine woman wasn’t reported missing to police, body found in bush nine months later

- By SHAUN McMAHON

IT’S been three years since Sam Wilson was last seen alive near her home in Abbeyard, a remote area around 50 kilometres east of Mansfield behind Mount Buller, wedged between Porepunkah and Wonnangatt­a on the Buffalo River.

No one reported the 53-yearold mother missing.

On May 11, 2019, some nine months later, her body was found by hunters in the surroundin­g state forest not far from where she lived.

Her remains had decomposed significan­tly during this time, which left little forensic evidence for police and made the task of positive identifica­tion quite difficult.

The question as to why no one reported her missing for nine months stands out and has many possible explanatio­ns.

As does her cause of death, which hasn’t been released, alongside whether Ms Wilson died there or elsewhere and was taken to the location where her body was found.

It’s possible Ms Wilson died by misadventu­re or of her own accord, but police have stated that her death is being treated

as suspicious, and remains an active homicide investigat­ion with no arrests made at this stage.

Police have reportedly seized items for forensic testing and spoken with Ms Wilson’s family, friends and her ex-partner, David Grady.

Very little has been reported on Ms Wilson’s death, aside from a couple of newspaper articles which outlined the apparent silence of people close to the investigat­ion and the small amount known about Ms

Wilson preceding her mysterious death.

Ms Wilson and Mr Grady reportedly separated some months before she was last seen alive and he began a new romantic relationsh­ip with another local woman towards the end of 2018.

The Herald Sun reported that the separation was acrimoniou­s, with conflict arising over Ms Wilson overstayin­g her welcome at Mr Grady’s property in Abbeyard.

The pair became romantical­ly involved in 2016 after which Ms Wilson appears to have moved in with Mr Grady.

Ms Wilson posted a number of photos on her Facebook page over the following two years, which include Mr Grady and his friends, who seem to be avid hunters, alongside friends and/or family members with ‘Emperor Grady holding court at Mansfield’ one photo noted.

The pair’s history may or may not be relevant, and while police have spoken with him and others close to the investigat­ion, they haven’t stated that Mr Grady is a person of interest in Sam Wilson’s death, nor does the Courier suggest this.

A Victoria Police spokespers­on told the Courier this week that enquiries are ongoing and they are yet to rule out foul play.

“Investigat­ions remain ongoing in relation to the death of a 53-year-old Abbeyard woman after her remains were discovered in 2019.

“The woman’s remains were found by hunters in bushland near Abbeyard Road about 3pm on May 11, 2019.

“The remains were formally identified several weeks after the discovery and investigat­ors learned the 53-year-old had not been seen in the Abbeyard area since August 2018 but had not been reported missing.

“The Homicide Squad’s investigat­ion into the woman’s death remains active and ongoing.

“The death continues to be treated as suspicious at this time.

“Anyone with any informatio­n that could assist police with their enquiries is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.”

 ??  ?? SUSPICIOUS: 53-year-old Sam Wilson wasn’t reported missing for nine months when her body was discovered by hunters deep in the High Country’s state forest.
SUSPICIOUS: 53-year-old Sam Wilson wasn’t reported missing for nine months when her body was discovered by hunters deep in the High Country’s state forest.

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