Police suspect a car containing the body of a man believed to be missing central Queensland resident Leslie Schulze may have been underwater for more than a month.
The 69-year-old’s vehicle was pulled from eight metres of water at Toolooa Bends in South Gladstone on Wednesday night, three hours after it was discovered by divers.
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said a body was found inside the vehicle, but a post-mortem was needed to confirm if it was Mr Schulze.
“I can say that we are treating this death as suspicious until we can prove otherwise, as we do with any death,” he said on Thursday.
Insp Shadlow said police had spoken to several people about Mr Schulze’s disappearance, but that was just “covering bases” and there was no suspect.
Forensic investigators will spend the coming days scouring the vehicle.
Insp Shadlow said initial investigations showed the body may have been underwater since June 19, the night Mr Schulze disappeared.
“The scientific officers have a tedious job ahead of them over the next couple of days going through that vehicle,” he said.
“It has been underwater for some time so whatever evidence is in there may have been lost.”
— 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) July 1, 2017
Insp Shadlow said police had informed Mr Schulze’s family, who made a public appeal for information two weeks after his disappearance, of the discovery.
“They’re holding up as best as can be expected,” he said.
“We will keep updating them and keep continually speaking with them.”
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Schulze was captured on CCTV at the Yaralla Sports Club in the early hours of June 19.
A car believed to be his was later seen leaving town in the direction of Toolooa Bends.
Insp Shadlow said based on that information, police had “systematically searched” all of the bodies of water in that area.
Anyone who may have been near the Toolooa Bends boat ramp in the early hours of June 19 or in the days following are being urged to contact police.