Mystery call to cops about ’murdered’ mum

The mystery caller who contacted Crime Stoppers to provide information on the whereabouts of missing Melbourne mum Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang corroborated details police already had, it has been revealed.

Detectives probing the 33-year-old’s disappearance have again urged the anonymous caller to make contact for a second time as they desperately try to find her body.

Ms Zhang, of Epping, is presumed dead with missing persons squad detectives returning to search bushland and water along Darebin Creek in Melbourne’s northeast on Monday morning.

The search and rescue squad, dog squad and public order response team also joined the search along Darebin Creek, west of Sheehan Road in Heidelberg West, and around Sparkes and Napier Waller reserves in Ivanhoe.

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said they had again come up empty-handed and urged anyone with information to contact police.

Ms Zhang was last seen at her home in Winchester Avenue in Epping about 5.30pm on February 1 wearing a pink nightgown and possibly pink slippers.

Police have alleged she was murdered but are yet to locate her body.

Detectives have also made a second appeal for a mystery caller who provided information to Crime Stoppers on the whereabouts of Ms Zhang to make contact again.

Police search the Darebin Creek in Heidelberg for missing Epping woman Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie
Police search the Darebin Creek in Heidelberg for missing Epping woman Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

The person called Crime Stoppers anonymously last Thursday morning and provided details of her location.

“The person that contacted Crime Stoppers did provide some information that accorded with some information that we had so we’d really like them to come back to us,” Inspector Stamper said.

“Our firm belief is that Kelly was murdered on that night and unfortunately we don’t know where she is.”

Ms Zhang’s boyfriend, Joon Seong Tan, has been charged with one count of murder after being arrested at Melbourne Airport.

Mr Tan, 35, appeared in court on February 12 where it was revealed detectives were trawling through 3500 hours of CCTV footage in relation to the case.

Ju Zhang hasn’t been seen since February 1.
Ju Zhang hasn’t been seen since February 1.

Doncaster man Joon Seong Tan has been charged with her murder.
Doncaster man Joon Seong Tan has been charged with her murder.

Prosecutors requested extra time to prepare the brief of evidence due to the extensive CCTV footage and texts that needed to be translated from Mandarin.

The 35-year-old remains in custody and is expected to face Melbourne Magistrates Court again in July.

Inspector Stamper said on Monday that information provided from the public and evidence from their investigation had led them to search the two areas of bushland, and a light industrial area around Heidelberg West off Waterdale Road.

“It’s very important for us to eliminate this area today and the area this morning,” he said.

“All of this area is of interest to us from what we know of that incident on that night. Unfortunately, we haven’t found anything that we were looking for.”

He also confirmed Ms Zhang’s phone was still missing.

Search and Rescue Police search the Darebin Creek in Heidelberg on Monday for missing mum Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie
Search and Rescue Police search the Darebin Creek in Heidelberg on Monday for missing mum Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Inspector Stamper said the area hadn’t been completely eliminated and would remain a key location in the search for Ms Zhang, but detectives were satisfied they had done the best they could at this stage and they had no other searches planned.

“A key priority for us is to get answers for Ju’s family,” he said.

“Most of her family are in China. The distance and the state that the world is at not being able to travel here to assist would be heartbreaking.”

Detectives previously searched along the Darebin Creek Reserve near Seddon Reserve in Ivanhoe West on February 11 in relation to Ms Zhang’s suspicious disappearance but didn’t find her body.

Police said the investigation into Ms Zhang’s disappearance was ongoing.

Anyone with information or CCTV footage from the areas of interest on the night of February 1 and 2 has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

Originally published as Mystery call to cops about ’murdered’ mum


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