Murder probe after body found in Coimadai

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Rhodes. Picture: Sumeyya Ilanbey

The missing Chelsea Heights teenager whose remains were found in a shallow Coimadai mineshaft was murdered.

Homicide detectives this morning confirmed that the remains, discovered at Lerderderg State Park near Seerey Track, belonged to missing 17-year-old Cayleb Hough.

Cayleb was last seen attending a party near The Crescent, Highett in the early hours of December 20 last year.

A university student who was conducting botany examinations through the Bacchus Marsh bushland made the discovery on March 10.

Missing Persons Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Craig told media he believes Cayleb was killed shortly after his disappearance.

“There is no way that this was an accident,” he said.

“I can say quite categorically [as a result of medical examination] that Cayleb Hough was murdered.

“We’ve got know idea when he was killed but we do believe, due to the way that the body was located, that it was shortly after his disappearance last year.

“My understanding is that whoever committed this atrocious offence would be known to Cayleb.

“This is an out of the way area… Cayleb has no real connection to this area.”

He said Cayleb was known to police.

Detectives and SES crew were searching the area for anything that might assist with the investigation including items of missing clothing.

Detective Senior Sergeant Rhodes appealed for public help.

“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the Lerderderg State Park since December 20 last year,” he said.

“His family is very upset.

“These are very tragic circumstances and this has totally gutted the family.

“I have know doubt at all that someone out there knows something about this incident and I just implore them to come forward.

“Cayleb’s family deserve some answers in relation to this horrific tragedy.”

Police found the car he was believed to be travelling in, a blue 2003 Ford Falson XR6 sedan with the registration SOG 812, at a Southbank entertainment complex carpark on Saturday, January 16.

The owner of the vehicle was interviewed by police and is one of a number of people of interest in the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Rhodes said.

Anyone with information should contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

with Esther Lauaki