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Carmen Thomas Search Teams Dredge Construction Site Hole

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Carmen Thomas
Carmen Thomas

Search teams spent the day at bottom of a hole in a central Auckland building site, dredging and sifting through bucket loads of grey water and rubble, in the search for clues as to the whereabouts of Carmen Thomas' body.

At least 20 staff from the Fire Service urban search and rescue team and police, including investigation head Inspector Mark Benefield, were at the Mansons TCLM site in Victoria St, where several police inquiries have been made in the past two weeks.

The man charged with Ms Thomas' murder, Brad Callaghan, had worked at the site.

One person at a time was lowered from a crane down the hole, which is approximately one metre in diameter, and spent about an hour at the bottom, sending up buckets of mud and rubble.

Staff at the top sifted through the contents and collected any objects of interest, which included the frame of a pair of reading glasses and what appeared to a large log of wood, which was inspected by plain-clothed police officers and put in an evidence bag.

Callaghan, Ms Thomas' ex-partner and father of her child, was remanded in custody when he appeared in court on Tuesday.

In the past two days police have also been searching the house of an associate of Mr Callaghan in east Auckland.

Neighbours reported that the associate had not been seen since last Friday. Tents have been erected around the house.

Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said today police remained at the east Auckland house and would be there as long as it took to complete the search.

She said more than 57 search warrants had been executed before yesterday. Hundreds of items had been collected and forensic scientists had been busy examining them.

Police have still to find the body of Ms Thomas, who has not been seen since June 27. They say they believe she was murdered in her Remuera home, her body dismembered, then disposed of.

They are still appealing for sightings of her car but now say they do not believe she had anything to do with taking it to Hamilton, where it was found.

Ms Hegarty said the public still had an important role to play in the investigation.

"We have always said that if anybody has any information that might be of assistance, please contact us," she told NZPA. "That could be anything."

She said further people could still be charged in relation to Ms Thomas' death.

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