Body found near Melbourne belongs to missing Kiwi Karen Ristevski

Police in Victoria have confirmed human remains found in a park near Melbourne belong to missing Kiwi woman Karen Ristevski. 

The Wellington-born mother disappeared from her home in northwest Melbourne last June. 

A person walking through bushland discovered a badly decomposed body jammed under a log on Monday night.

"It's isolated, no one walks through here because it's so rough, so rough, real rough bush," one witness says. 

"You might see a couple of walkers, maybe a four wheel drive driven now and then, but it's very, very isolated," another witness says. 

Witnesses told police they saw a man with a shovel in the area recently, joking with him about burying a body, while the man remained expressionless.

The park is now the site of a massive operation, and the remains underwent forensic testing to see if they belonged to Ms Ristevski. On Tuesday afternoon, the results confirmed it was her.

Ms Ristevski was born in Wellington, but moved to Australia as a child. Some of her family are still in the capital. 

When they heard the news a body had been discovered, they weren't optimistic.

"I immediately thought it was Karen, and they've said to some of the family to be prepared for the worst," cousin Stephen Richardson says.

The 47-year-old left her Avondale Heights home to go for a walk on June 29, after an argument with her husband, Borce Ristevski. 

"She's always you know, walked back in the door after calming down," Mr Ristevski says. 

Investigators later discovered her mobile phone pinged off a tower hours after her disappearance, launching an intensive search focused on the Toolern Vale area less than 30km from where the body was found.


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