Warehouse workers have found human remains at a storage facility in Melbourne’s south-east.
The emloyees made the grim discovery at the back of an Oakleigh self-storage warehouse when a foot was spotted in a wheelie bin.
Police believe the body may have been hidden there for more than 15 years.
Stunned workers found the badly decomposed remains during a cleanout of Total Self Storage, which is closing down after 25 years in business.
Staff were clearing out uncollected items when they opened up an abandoned white crate around 11am on Friday morning.
“It was some sort of a crate, and a wheelie bin was in there with occy straps around it,” witness Paul Peters said.
“And then they covered it in dirt, some sort of dirt.”
The bin had grass clippings on top, but underneath lay a gruesome secret.
“Jokingly someone said, it would be a bit freaky if there was a body in there,” said Anton Hillemancher, who made the discovery.
“Then we came across what looked like a boot. I’ve noticed what looked like a foot to me, in a sock, and I said ‘oh s**t, there’s a body’.”
“They just opened up the wheelie bin and saw a boot, and didn’t think much of it,” Mr Peters said.
“And then one of the guys grabbed the boot, and found it was attached to a body down there.”
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But it was obvious this was a crime committed many years ago.
“The clippings were looking pretty old and mouldy and what not, it was pretty old stuff. It looked like a woman’s sock to me,” Mr Hillemancher said.
Homicide detectives are gathering evidence at two locations; the warehouse where the body was stored and another warehouse across the road, where the crate was taken by forklift and emptied.
“That crate has not been accessed for a number of years,” Detective Senior Sergeant Pixie Fuhrmeister said.
“It was paid initially, but it hasn’t been paid for a number of years.”
As forensic police gathered evidence around the remains, others are hunting through missing persons files.
The owner is looking for records, from potentially decades ago, which could reveal a killer who left the crate there.
DNA tests will speed up the identification process, but a post-mortem will confirm if the remains are male or female.
The discovery kicks off an anxious wait for any families who have loved ones missing for 15 years or more.