The body of an Aboriginal woman has been found “partially concealed” just kilometres from where a severed leg was discovered on the main road into Darwin.
Police believe that she was the victim of a tragic hit-and-run on Monday night and have arrested a man and woman over the incident on the Stuart Highway.
“It will be alleged that the 23-year-old male was the driver involved in the collision impacting the victim,” Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Morrissey told journalists on Thursday.
“It will be further alleged that the 50-year-old female has assisted him in removing the deceased to another location in an attempt to conceal a crime.”
The alarm was raised on Tuesday morning when a severed lower leg was discovered near Coolalinga, sparking a large public appeal for witnesses and dashcam footage.
Police say they were inundated with information which led them to identify and later locate the vehicle involved in the suspected collision.
On Wednesday afternoon, a 23-year old man was arrested in Palmerston and his car seized before a 50-year-old woman was also arrested nearby.
Hours later, police finally found what they were looking for.
“At 11.45pm last night, police attended a location in Jenkins Road, Virginia where they located a deceased Aboriginal female,” Det Sn Sgt Morrissey said. “We believe this is the victim of the collision.”
“They were partially concealed and the condition of the body was consistent with being struck with a vehicle.”
“We believe we have identified the victim, but further forensic testing is being conducted before we make that final confirmation.”
While the suspected victim’s family has been notified, an autopsy will be carried out on Thursday.
Det Sn Sgt Morrissey claimed there had been a number of hit and run collisions in the Northern Territory so far this year, and that this was extremely concerning.
“It is one thing not to render assistance and report the matter but to go further and attempt to conceal a crime is quite terrible,” he said.
“I understand people may panic in such a situation of striking someone, but obviously the consequences for everyone involved are terrible if they go further and conceal it.”
The pair arrested remain in police custody and are expected to be charged later on Thursday.
They are likely to face offences in regards to driving causing death and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Police believe the man had been speeding at the time of the collision, and wasn’t known to the victim.
They’ve also thanked the public for the information provided over the past few days, and say it was instrumental in the arrests.
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