Witness in Karen Ristevski case says he'd have 'no problem' identifying 'shovel man'

A witness who says he saw a man carrying a shovel, not far from where Karen Ristevski’s body was found, claims he would have no problem recognising that man again.

Gary Salt and his wife Sandy spoke to police on Monday at Mount Macedon, where the missing mother’s remains were found hidden under a log.

Mr Salt dropped the bombshell breakthrough on investigators, but wouldn’t reveal to 7 News if that person he saw was Karen’s husband Borce.

Witness Gary Salt (light shirt) at the Mount Macedon scene. Picture: 7 News
Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski. Picture: 7 News

Mr Salt said he dropped friends at home near the Macedon Regional Park about midnight one night in November, five months after Ms Ristevski went missing.

He said he was able to clearly see the "beanie-wearing man" in his car headlights, as the man walked out of the scrub alone "carrying a shovel".

The Victorian bushland where Ms Ristevski's body was found. Picture: 7 News

“It’s one of the aspects being looked at but gee, it’s getting a lot of speculation,” Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton said on Thursday.

Ms Ristevski’s husband Borce was on Wednesday named as the “prime suspect” by his own lawyer.

“It’s certainly progressing along, but it’s a bit hard to know sometimes,” Mr Ashton said.

Gary Salt (light shirt) said he saw a

“These cases can move really quickly, it’s hard to know, it’s making good progress at the moment.”

Police seized a shovel from the Ristevski family home in Avondale Heights, which was found to have two types of soil – one which matched dirt from behind their family home.

Karen Ristevski pictured with her daughter and husband Borce. Picture: 7 News

“If the soil has specific minerals or particles that are unique or specific to a particular location, then you can almost pin point it to within a square metre,” Centre for Australian Forensic Soil Science Dr Rob Fitzpatrick said.

Locals say the ground near where Mrs Ristevski’s body was dumped is very hard and it would be almost impossible to dig a proper grave.

Ms Ristevski’s remains are yet to be released, with her family unable to make funeral arrangements.

But the family says they are hopeful police are closing in on her killer.

The Ristevski family had appealed for information on Karen's disappearance. Picture: 7 News