The owner of a lower leg discovered on one of Australia’s major highways is “unlikely” to be alive three days after it was severed, while police refuse to rule out foul play.
The human remains were found on the Stuart Highway, 30 kilometres out of Darwin, on Tuesday at around 10.30am.
Police have now confirmed that an incident occurred more than 12 hours earlier, between 8pm and 9pm on Monday.
“As a result of the examinations of the scene, police have established that there has been some sort of vehicle versus pedestrian collision on the inbound lane at that location,” Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Morrissey told journalists on Wednesday.
“We’ve got witnesses to some sort of event taking place in the location and we are investigating the information that they provided.”
Due to the extent of the injury, and the time that has since passed, police no longer believe the owner of the leg is alive.
“It would suggest by this time, we’ve got no one in hospital with those sort of injuries, so with the severity of that, it’s unlikely,” Det Sn Sgt Morrissey said.
“The information [on the injury] was that the [outcome] was survival but would need medical treatment as soon as possible.”
While the owner of the leg has not yet been identified, a pathologist has confirmed that it belongs to a dark-skinned human, aged from a teenager to an adult.
Police say information received from members of the public has been crucial in putting the time of the collision between 8pm and 9pm on Monday night.
They now hope that this timeline will encourage others to come forward, including those involved.
“Police would request that anyone involved in a collision in that area at the time come forward,” Det Sn Sgt Morrissey said.
“Police would also request that any witnesses to the event or witnesses to vehicles parked on the side of the road at that time come forward.”
“And we again request that anyone with dashcam footage of that time in that area provide that material.”
The highway was closed in both directions on Tuesday while police extensively scoured the scene for the body using drones and the dog squad.
It has since been reopened however officers will return to the scene today to continue their investigations.
Reels of dashcam footage will also be assessed after police received dozens of calls with information from the public overnight.
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