Body found on Reardons Road property

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EXCLUSIVE and BREAKING: Police have found a body on a property on Reardons Road, close to where Leonard Watkinson went missing five weeks ago.

They cannot confirm the identity of the person until DNA and dental results are returned.

The person’s cause of death remains unconfirmed but it appears there are no suspicious circumstances, Hume Local Area Command Detective Inspector Chad Gillies said this morning.

It was found in a water tank.

“A body was found on the property on Thursday night,” he told Scoop.

“A post mortem will be organised and identification confirmed in relation to the body.”

He expected confirmation in the next day or two.

Officers attached to Strikeforce Riverleigh, formed to investigate the disappearance of Leonard Watkinson, located the body. However Inspector Gillies stressed the deceased’s identity remains unconfirmed at this stage.

The body was found on the property where Leonard Watkinson went missing five weeks ago.

The area has been the subject of an intense search for Mr Watkinson.

Inspector Gillies, who is in charge of the Watkinson investigation Strikeforce Riverleigh, said on Thursday evening police remained baffled by his disappearance.

“We’re still at a loss as to where he is and the circumstances around why he has gone missing,” he told Scoop.

Mr Watkinson disappeared from his 255 acre property on Reardons Road, near Manton, on October 5.

He was last seen by his partner of 18 years, Lynn, at about 10am.

The retirees would spend time pottering on the property and had plans to eventually relocate from Canberra to live out here.

Lynn has previously told media everything was normal the morning her partner disappeared. She had been carting water from the dam’s pump to water the vegetable patch, while Mr Watkinson had been whipper-snipping long grass around the pump.

She left him to work, both agreeing to meet up for lunch back at their shed at 1pm.

The 60 year-old never returned.

She searched the property herself and found his grass cutting equipment had been returned and his keys and phone had been left at the shed. His wallet remained in the car.

She contacted emergency services at 4pm that day after searching with a neighbour proved fruitless.

Police rescue crews, divers and dog squad, PolAir Helicopter and State Emergency Services scoured bushland and five dams on the property, and later extended the search perimeter into neighbouring national parkland at Mundoonen Nature Reserve.

After four days revealed no trace of him, they scaled back the search and turned their attention to public appeals for information from anyone knowing his whereabouts or who may have sighted him in the Canberra and Murrumbateman area.

*For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

Katharyn Brine

Editor / Publisher

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