Human remains were discovered by Australian authorities during a 50-man search for Leeann Lapham in far north Queensland. At 6:00 A.M. (local time), fifty police officers and SES investigated dense brush throughout Cowley Beach, located 20 minutes south of Innisfail. Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh reported that a “partial skeleton” was found by 9:30 A.M.
Authorities searched the dense scrub at Cowley Beach after a tip from her former partner Graham Evans who had already pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of Leeann Lapham. Evans reportedly told authorities “where he disposed of Leeann’s body.” However, they won’t be able to determine whether or not the discovered skeletal remains belongs to the missing Leeann Lapham until scientific analysis is conducted on the “partial skeleton.”
“Scientific analysis will be conducted in the days and weeks to follow to determine whether those are the remains of Leeann Lapham,” said Detective Inspector Marsh. “We remain hopeful that they are. All the evidence that we’ve received from the person who is now going to plead guilty to manslaughter, Graham Evans, is that this is the location where he disposed of Leeann’s body.”
30-year-old Australian woman Leeann Lapham was last seen at a motel in Innisfail in April 2010. Meanwhile, her three-week-old son was left alone in the motel room with his mom missing.
Her former partner Graham Evans was arrested in February 2017, three months after his car yard was evacuated by police. Authorities say that the charges against Evans is a direct result of them revisiting evidence gathered in 2010.
Human remains were found during a search in far north Queensland after Evans told authorities that’s where he disposed of her body.
On Tuesday, Evans pled guilty to manslaughter and interference with a corpse in the Supreme Court in Cairns, regarding the death of Leeann Lapham.
Evan’s legal team confirmed that their client informed authorities to the location of Ms. Lapham’s remains. Apart of Evan’s plea required him to inform authorities to whereabouts of Lampham’s remains.
Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh said that prosecutors decided to downgrade Evan’s initial charge to manslaughter. Marsh said that Cairns’ senior prosecutor talked to the mother of the deceased Kerry Johnson last week about the offer made to Evans. Johnson was said to have “been pleased to hear that he would at least take police to the location he discarded Leeann’s body,” according to Marsh.
Ms. Johnson was reportedly shaking as she left the courtroom yesterday. She told the Cairns Post, “I’m just hoping to get a little bit of peace, that’s all I can say.”
Graham Evans has yet to be sentenced for his crimes. He will be formally sentenced at a later date.