Family of murdered mum vow to find her killer
THE relatives of Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski have vowed to find her killer as police search for answers in the case that's baffled them.
Mrs Ristevski's cousin Lisa Gray said the family were devastated over the loss of a the "generous and loving person".
She told Fairfax Media they would "do everything we can to assist police to help find the person responsible."
"Karen was such a beautiful, kind, generous and loving person. I would like to thank the police, the SES and everyone else who has helped us through this time," she said.
Her aunt Patricia Gray said "happy we found her. Devastated that's how she was discarded".
"How a person such as Karen, so full of love, life and laughter, could be left, abandoned, discarded with no thought or emotion shown is unforgivable," the aunt told Fairfax Media.
On Tuesday family and friends were seen entering the Ristevski home following news that police had confirmed the decomposed body found in Victorian bushland was in fact the mother who went missing eight months ago.
The grim discovery was made by a passer-by on a dirt track in dense bushland at Mount Macedon, about 65km north of Melbourne, on Monday.
On Tuesday, police confirmed the eight-month search for the mother had ended in tragedy with the chilling case leaving more questions than answers.
"Police can confirm the human remains found at Mount Macedon yesterday are that of missing Avondale Heights woman Karen Ristevski," Victoria Police said on Tuesday afternoon.
The positive identification follows forensic testing carried out on the body found in bush 52km from the site where Ms Ristevski was last seen.
Mrs Ristevski's brother Stephen Williams visited the site where the body was found. He spent two hours walking the dirt track with a red rose in his back pocket but declined to give a comment, the Herald Sun reports.
Now a host of unanswered questions remain over how and why her body was found in the regional park and what happened in the moments leading up to her death.
Mrs Ristevski, 47, vanished nearly eight months ago and her remains were found less than 30km north of Toolern Vale, where a two-day search for Mrs Ristevski was centred two months ago.
On December 19 and 20 last year, police drained dams and searched countryside south of the bushland where the body was found on Monday.
It was a case that gripped Victoria from the moment Mrs Ristevski left her $1.1 million home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne's north west, on June 29, 2016, and disappeared without a trace.
Her husband, Borce Ristevski, said his wife went for a walk to "clear her head" after an argument over finances and reportedly told family she may have been snatched by a stranger.
Mr Ristevski also dismissed claims by his estranged son Anthony Rickard, a confessed ice user, that he had overheard Mrs Ristevski talking about leaving Borce when their daughter Sarah turned 21.
Mr Rickard also approached Channel Nine's A Current Affair in August in an attempt to sell an unsubstantiated story, The Age reports. He had also made the claim on social media in posts that were later removed.
Mrs Ristevski hadn't used her bank accounts or phone since she disappeared. Her brother in law Vasko Ristevski, said at the time she may have travelled overseas on a fake passport.
As Missing Person Squad detectives collected hundreds of hours of footage, police theorised she had met with foul play.
It was revealed on Tuesday that a witness told police he saw a man with a shovel at the location where Mrs Ristevski's body was found.
The witness allegedly joked "What did you do to the body?" to the man but was met with an expressionless face, the Herald Sun reports.
Local resident Ian Flannery told 9 News he "could not believe" the grisly find near a quiet cul-de-sac.
"I'm a bit flummoxed. It's very, very unusual," he said.
Police conducted a line search at the scene on Monday and are keen to speak to anyone that may have seen any suspicious activity in that area.
"Missing Persons Squad detectives are appealing for anyone that may have been walking along the dirt track off Loch Road or anyone that may have seen any vehicles to contact them," police said on Tuesday.
Investigators are also hoping to speak to anyone that may have been at Mount Macedon any time from June last year and took photos or any video footage in the area.
On Monday, Karen's nephew, Chris Ristevski, was stunned when told by the Herald Sun of the discovery of the body.
"I'm shocked, I haven't heard anything about this so I'm still trying to take it all in," he said.
The remains were found less than 30km north of Toolern Vale, where a two-day search for Mrs Ristevski was centred two months ago.