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Missing mum’s body found in car boot as son charged: ‘Tragic scene’

Police say they were still hopeful of finding a missing Gold Coast mother alive before discovering her body in the boot of a car in Brisbane’s inner north overnight.

Wendy Sleeman disappeared on Tuesday afternoon, just half an hour after she called police to report a break in at her Elanora home. By the time officers had arrived, she was missing.

After finding a large pool of blood on the floor, and drag marks along the ground, as reported by AAP, police launched an extensive search for the 61-year-old across the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane.

Wendy Sleeman with three dogs (left) and a close up of Wendy.
Wendy reported a break in to police on Tuesday afternoon at her Elanora home but by the time they got there, she was missing. Source: Facebook/Queensland Police (Facebook/Queensland Police)

Two days later, a forensic examination of electronic devices led police to a property in Wilston, more than an hour away from Ms Sleeman’s home. At 5.30pm on Thursday, her body was found in the back of a blue Honda Jazz, which is believed to have been privately hired.

While formal identification is yet to take place, police are confident the body is that of Ms Sleeman.

“It’s just very sad that we’ve come to the outcome we have now,” Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith told journalists on Thursday evening, describing the scene as “tragic.”

“This morning I was hopeful we would still find her, but not in this state. It’s a sad occasion for everyone.”

Son charged over mother’s disappearance

Ms Sleeman’s 30-year-old son, Slade Murdok, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in relation to his mother’s disappearance.

He was charged with a number of domestic violence offences including unlawful stalking, burglary, assault occasioning bodily harm and kidnapping, as well as attempted arson and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police believe Mr Murdok, who was on bail for unrelated offences when he was arrested, had allegedly hired the garage where the car was discovered.

He appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court Thursday where the court heard that Ms Sleeeman feared for her own safety and believed her son might try to kill her as recently as January 23, as reported by AAP.

Mr Murdok was denied bail and remanded in custody. He will be back in court on February 14.

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