Police are searching for 58-year-old grandmother Ruth Ridley after her estranged husband's body was found, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. Police are searching for 58-year-old grandmother Ruth Ridley after her estranged husband’s body was found.

Ruth Ridley has been missing for a week, with fears growing for the Port Macquarie grandmother.

The 58-year-old left her home on the New South Wales coast and headed to Tumbarumba in the state’s south west to visit her estranged husband and their children in October, but her last known whereabouts were in a supermarket in Albury on the 24th.

Their son Steve told 9News his parents were attempting to rekindle their relationship and had planned to go camping together. He also added that they had a “rocky relationship”.

The Daily Telegraph reported the couple had taken out apprehended violence orders against each other before she moved to the coast.

On October 29, the body of Gary Ridley was found inside his wife’s Mitsubishi Pajero near the border of NSW and Victoria. The caravan she’d been towing was discovered the next day.

The 61-year-old’s death is being investigated by police, while the search is still at large for Ruth.

Police want to speak to anyone who may have been camping at or in the vicinity of Neil’s Reserve along the Murray River on the weekend of the 26/27th of October, which is where they think the estranged couple set up camp.

“Mum is a loving grandmother to ten grandchildren and we are holding hope she’s found,” Steve told 9News.

Anyone with information is urged to call 1800 333 000.

2. Fewer people attended the Melbourne Cup this year.

The number of people attending the Melbourne Cup has dipped again, for the fourth year in a row.


There were 81,408 racegoers at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday to watch the Australian-bred, trained, ridden and owned Vow And Declare win the Cup.

That was down slightly from last year’s rain-affected number of 83,471, with both years marking the lowest attendance since 1995.

Vow And Declare’s part-owner, former NSW politician Geoff Corrigan, acknowledged the recent allegations of animal cruelty involving ex-racehorses that led to a protest outside the course.

“There’s a social contract involved with racing,” Corrigan said.

“That social contract’s been fractured a little bit in the past two weeks.”

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Melbourne Cup in a peaceful anti-cruelty event that was part demonstration, part celebration with live music and costumes.

But Corrigan said he was very pleased with the efforts that have been made by Racing Victoria, Racing NSW and Racing Queensland to address anti-cruelty concerns.

And winning trainer Danny O’Brien does not believe the Melbourne Cup carnival has lost its gloss, even as Sydney racing authorities ramp up the spring competition between the states.

“I’ve been all around the world to English derbies to Royal Ascot to the Kentucky Derby, but nothing comes close to this.

“You have a whole city that stops, the rest of the country does as well.”

Sydneysider Corrigan called for a time-out on the interstate rivalry.

“I don’t think there’s any future in putting on more and more of these races that are dragging the states apart and competing with one another.

“I think there has to be some return back to tradition and common sense. There’s only so much money and it will eventually collapse if they keep doing it.”

Crowd numbers at the Melbourne Cup have been falling in recent years, last surpassing 100,000 in 2015.


Recent Melbourne Cup day crowds:

2019 – 81,408

2018 – 83,471

2017 – 90,536

2016 – 97,479

2015 – 101,015

2014 – 100,794

2013 – 104,169


2012 – 106,162

2011 – 105,979

2010 – 110,223

Record – 2003 – 122,736 (when Makybe Diva win the first of her three Melbourne Cups).

3. A Northern Territory woman has been shot in the chest with an arrow.

A woman has been shot in the chest with an arrow during fighting at a remote Northern Territory community.

The 51-year-old was hit by an arrow fired from a crossbow, penetrating her arm and chest at Numbulwar on Monday evening.

She was flown in a CareFlight plane to Darwin hospital where she was in a stable condition on Tuesday.

NT Police watch commander Siiri Tennosaar said extra police were sent to Numbulwar when fighting broke out between feuding family groups on Monday.

“Police begin receiving reports from the community at about 5pm stating that large groups of persons were gathering to fight and that some were armed with crossbows and other weapons,” she said.

“It does appear to be some feuding family groups and we’re hopeful that mediation might assist in that regard.

“The police are there to try and keep the peace while elders in family groups tend to discuss matters that are causing the issues. Certainly we will be trying to assist those family groups to make peace.”

Extra police from Minyerri and Ngukurr remain in Numbulwar to help the local station and investigations into offences are ongoing.

4. A man is in hospital after a stabbing in Sydney.


One man is in a serious condition and another is in custody after a stabbing outside a council depot in inner Sydney.

Police were called to Alexandra Canal Depot in Alexandria on Tuesday afternoon after a man, reported to be aged 23, was stabbed.

He was treated for multiple wounds and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

Another man was arrested at the scene.

“One of the other workmen have grabbed some tyres and basically bound the man waiting for the arrival of police,” Superintendent Andrew Holland told reporters.

City of Sydney said it was aware of an incident involving two contract workers outside its depot.

“We are assisting police with their investigation and have offered support to all staff at the depot,” a statement said.

5. Two bodies have been found in Far North Queensland.


A Townsville couple have died after apparently slipping at a waterfall in Far North Queensland.

The couple were reported missing after failing to turn up to their respective jobs on Monday.

Their bodies were spotted by helicopter that night at the popular Kearneys Falls and recovered on Tuesday.

Cairns Police Detective Acting Inspector Ed Kinbacher said it seems the couple fell to their deaths after going for an early-morning swim.

“We believe this incident is a direct consequence of misadventure rather than any third party involvement,” Insp Kinbacher said.

He said the area was dangerously slippery and off limits.

“It appears they have fallen, making the unwise decision to climb the quite steep falls, which were in fact closed above that swimming hole,” he said.

He warned that wet granite rock and moss can be as slippery as ice.

“These waterfalls in North Queensland regularly claim lives,” he said.

Media reports said the pair are Simon Walker, 24, and Sherei Anderson, 32.

Police don’t yet know when the couple died.

Officers know they were in Cairns on Thursday, when the man picked his partner up from the airport as she returned from a holiday in Japan.

They were planning to camp for a few days before returning to Townsville.

Police don’t know when the pair got to the camping site in the Goldsborough Valley near Kearneys Falls but suspect it was after dark on Thursday.

Insp Kinbacher said the tragedy was a “difficult set of circumstances” for the couple’s families.

“Her family’s had a tragic history recently, she’s lost family members … so it’s a very sad story for that family,” he said.

“And the young man, a 24-year-old in the military in Townsville, had his life to live.”

The Kearneys Falls walking track and viewing platform are temporarily closed for maintenance work.

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