Body in wheelie bin identified as artist missing for 17 years


The body discovered in a bin in a storage facility belonged to a graphic artist who has been missing for almost 20 years, police have confirmed.

The body was discovered by workers at the self-storage facility in Oakleigh South in Melbourne’s south-east when a foot was spotted in the wheelie bin last month.

Police believed the body may have been there for more than 15 years.

Victoria Police said in a statement they identified the body as John Christianos, who was 40-years-old when he went missing on June 11, 2001.

Police have identified the body found in a wheelie bin in a Melbourne storage facility as John Christianos. Source: Victoria Police
Police have identified the body found in a wheelie bin in a Melbourne storage facility as John Christianos. Source: Victoria Police

He was last seen at a facility on Warrigal Road, near Paloma Street, in Bentleigh East where he lived alone.

Police said his belongings, including a motorbike and vehicle were never collected.

Mr Christianos was born in South Australia and was estranged from his family. He had not spoken to them for some time leading up to his disappearance and was reported missing by others living at the same facility.

An inquest into his disappearance in 2001 found Mr Christianos likely died on June 11, 2001, but the cause of death and circumstances around it remained a mystery.

The body was found in the wheelie bin at the storage unit on July 13. Source: 7 News
The body was found in the wheelie bin at the storage unit on July 13. Source: 7 News

Police said Mr Christianos was working as a graphic designer when he went missing and was known to be a caricature artist.

He was known to police in a number of states for matters including drug use and assaults.

His body, which was covered in grass clippings, was discovered in the bin on July 13.

Police are treating his death as suspicious.

Storage workers at Total Self Storage made the grim discovery. Source: 7 News
Storage workers at Total Self Storage made the grim discovery. Source: 7 News

Officer in charge of the Missing Persons Squad, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper, has appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

“Even though it has been over 17 years since he was last seen, we believe that it is likely there are still people out there who know what happened to John,” he said in a statement.

“As we always say, circumstances and relationships change and this might feel like the right time for those people to come forward with information.

“It’s our job now to try and find out what that was and I’d urge anyone with any piece of information at all to come forward.”

Anybody with information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or lodge a report online.

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