Man arrested after woman’s body found at rubbish tip

Rachael Ward and Callum Godde |

A man has been arrested over the death of a woman whose body was found at a waste facility.
A man has been arrested over the death of a woman whose body was found at a waste facility.

A man has been arrested and will be interviewed by police over the discovery of a woman’s body at a tip in Melbourne’s north last week.

Workers found the woman while moving green waste at a facility in Epping on Wednesday but investigators believe her body was originally inside a domestic bin that was picked up outside a property in a nearby suburb on Tuesday.

Victoria police identified the street as Hilgay Street in Coolaroo, which has rubbish collected on Tuesday.

Forensic detectives and uniformed offers were seen at a house on Hilgay Street surrounded by police tape on Saturday, when the discovery was made public.

Police establish a crime scene at a residential property in Coolaroo,
Police believe the body was in a bin that was picked up outside a Coolaroo home last week. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

The woman, who is still yet to be formally identified, is believed to be a 67-year-old from Coolaroo and police are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.

Homicide squad detectives arrested a 45-year-old Coolaroo man at Glenroy on Tuesday morning with no charges laid ahead of a police interview.

Victoria Police has stated they are not mother and son, but said they are believed to be known to each other.

Anyone who saw suspicious behaviour in Coolaroo from June 23 to July 2 has been asked to come forward.

Detectives are looking at CCTV and dashcam footage taken from the area during that time and want to speak to anyone with relevant vision.

A residential green waste facility Cooper Street Recycling Precinct
Workers found the body while moving green waste at a rubbish facility last week. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

The discovery marks at least the third time a woman’s remains were found in a bin or tip in Victoria in recent years.

In March, the remains of 35-year-old Point Cook woman Chaithanya “Swetha” Madhagani were discovered in Buckley, southwest of Geelong.

Footage from the area showed detectives near a wheelie bin in bushes on the side of Mount Pollock Road.

At the time, Victoria police said they wanted to speak to Ms Madhagani’s husband who fled to overseas. 

Ms Madhagani’s loved ones launched an online fundraiser to help her family members in India with mounting costs and to donate money to her child.

The discovery of the Coolaroo woman’s body came just over three years since remains of mother Ju ‘Kelly’ Zhang were found at a landfill in Wollert, just a few kilometres away from the Epping tip.

In 2023 Ms Zhang’s boyfriend Joon Seong Tan was found guilty of stabbing her in her bedroom in 2021 and dumping her body in a wheelie bin.

He is serving up to 28 years behind bars over the murder.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14