Police believe slain mother-of-two Donna Steele knew the person who killed her and dumped her body in a remote creek in Queensland's north.
Ms Steele, 42, was found at the popular fishing spot of Leggett's Crossing, north of Cooktown on Sunday morning.
Her death is being treated as a murder.
Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh said police were "confident" the killer was known to Ms Steele, but they have not yet identified a suspect.
"There's nothing to suggest it's a random attack ... we're confident this is a known person to her," he said.
Det Insp Marsh said Ms Steele was last seen on Wednesday at about midday at the town's IGA, but that they were trying to piece together her movements afterwards.
He said she was reported missing on Thursday by her partner when he returned from working away from the coastal community.
"Upon his arrival home the absence of the mother of the two children was of great concern to him and he made a report to the police," Det Insp Marsh said.
The father is now caring for their two boys, aged eight and 10, while helping police with their inquiries.
Det Insp Marsh said four crime scenes had been established in the region, and police were taking statements.
State Emergency Services volunteers will on Monday scour the banks of the creek, and police divers from the state's south east - where Ms Steele is originally from - will do a search of the waterway.
Police have not found a weapon and would not confirm reports her body was wrapped up.