Skeletal remains found in Byron bushland identified

Police have today confirmed skeletal remains found in bushland near Byron Bay are those of missing woman Thea Liddle.

The 42-year-old was last seen in the Mooball area in the Tweed Shire on October 31 last year and hasn’t been seen since.

Her worried family reported her missing to Queensland Police in January this year, who then notified NSW police who have been desperately searching for Thea ever since.


On Wednesday 15 July, officers, with help from the the Public Order and Riot Squad and the Dog Unit, conducted a two-day search of bushland near Tallow Beach Road, where Thea was known to have been residing in the months leading up to her disappearance.

It was there that they made the grim discovery of human remains at a makeshift camp site, which have now been confirmed as belonging to Thea following forensic examination.

“Ms Liddle’s relatives have been informed of the developments and her remains will be returned to her family,” NSW Police said.


State Crime Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said police made the find after “reviewing evidence relating to Thea’s case”, which remains ongoing.

“During a review of the initial investigation into Thea’s disappearance, specialist investigators identified information relating to an area of bushland near Byron Bay where she may have been residing,” Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

“While the positive identification of these remains is a good result for detectives, it is also devastating news to Thea’s family and friends.

“While they can now lay Thea to rest, questions around the circumstances of her death remain under investigation.”

Detectives are urging anyone in the community who may have seen or spoken to Thea in late October or early November last year, in and around the Far North Coast, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.