Body found in sewer tank prompts police investigation into how it got there

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Brisbane detectives are trying to determine how a man’s body ended up in a sewage holding tank at Wynnum on the city’s bayside.

Key points:

  • Police said it was a complex operation to retrieve the man’s body
  • Detectives are not sure whether the man’s death was an accident or whether he was murdered
  • They are examining recent missing persons notifications

The case is being treated as suspicious but it is not yet clear whether the man’s death was murder.

The gruesome discovery was made by maintenance workers during a routine check at the Queensland Urban Utilities site yesterday.

Police divers had to don contamination suits ahead of recovering the body, which police say could have been placed in the tank weeks ago.

A winch and pully was used to lower the divers into the underground holding tank, during what was a smelly and awkward operation. 

Detective Inspector Owen Elloy said the retrieval was complex.

“Safety is the issue with those doing the extraction. We have Fire Brigade, we have waste management workers, and they’re working as a team to do this gentleman’s extraction from the tank as best they can,” he said.

“Positive identification hasn’t been made as yet.”

Workers with heavy equipment in a park

A crime scene was established after Queensland Urban Utilities workers raised the alarm.

Plumbers were also called to the site to help vacuum sewage from the tanks. 

It is understood investigators are looking at whether the body was washed into the tank through the sewerage draining system, or was dumped.

Police are also looking into recent missing persons notifications.

The site on the corner of Granada and Adams Streets was cordoned off on Wednesday afternoon.