Worker thought body was dumped asbestos

Grim discovery: The site where a man’s body was found sealed between timber and secured with duct tape. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOA Gujarat mines employee has told how he made the gruesome discovery of a body at Mt Ousley after initially mistaking it for a load of dumped asbestos.The body had been sealed between two planks of timber before being wrapped in black lino, secured with duct tape and partially buried under dirt and leaves beside a Gujarat NRE Minerals’ gate, about 30m from busy Mt Ousley Rd.The 52-year-old Gujarat employee, of Shellharbour, said he first saw the body last Tuesday but left it until Friday to make a proper inspection.”I just fobbed it off as someone’s dumped asbestos; that they’d put it there because they didn’t want to pay the money to dispose of it,” he said.”When I cut the end of it, that’s when I realised it was more than old refuse.”Police have confirmed the body was that of a 27-year-old Chinese national who had been living in inner Sydney before being reported missing by two friends on March 4.A post-mortem was conducted yesterday and the cause of death was expected to be announced today. The man’s name has yet to be released.The state of decomposition suggested he had been dead for at least a week.The mineworker, whose role includes securing the perimeter of the Gujarat property, said he was working with two colleagues trying to close off a track that was being illegally used as an access point by 4WD vehicles and trail bikes.The team were welding fences and putting concrete blocks in place when he noticed the body.”It was wrapped up in vinyl – like lino – that had come off an old kitchen floor. It was wrapped pretty tightly and elaborately, then secured with 50mm grey duct tape.”They went to a lot of trouble to secure whatever was in there,” he said.The team returned on Friday when the grisly find was made about 11am.”I took an excavator driver over with me. He just stood behind me when I opened the package up.”It was between two flat boards, 6ftx21/2ft (1.8mx75cm). “I thought it might be a body but when I tipped it to find out what it was, it was hard and that’s what threw me. I thought, ‘It can’t be a dead body’.”Once I broke the seal … I didn’t want to go any further.”He contacted emergency services and a Police Rescue unit was dispatched.”They didn’t even touch it, they just called forensics and all hell broke loose after that,” the man said.”They contacted me later that afternoon and confirmed it was a body.”The worker said little effort had been made to dispose of the body once it had been dumped.”They didn’t even have the courtesy to drive in up the track a little. They just dumped it on the edge in a partial grave of dirt and leaves.”Detective Superintendent John Alt, of the State Crime Command’s Asian Crime Squad, said the dead man had a visa but could not say whether it entitled him to work or study in Australia.”There were some circumstances of him going missing that were of concern (but) it hasn’t been until recently that we were able to confirm the location of the body that he is in fact deceased,” he said.Detectives from State Crime Command, Police Rescue and forensics continued working at the scene on Saturday but ruled out any connection with the death of a 33-year-old woman whose body was discovered at Pheasants Nest last week.”We can strongly say that we believe there is no link to any recent homicide – or any other for that matter,” Mr Alt said.Police are investigating a series of cases involving Asian students and business figures in Sydney since November.This includes the disappearance of businesswoman Wei Chen, 39, who went missing from her Lidcombe home three weeks ago, and the murders of two Chinese women who worked as part-time prostitutes.
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