Allecha Boyd's killer, Samuel John Shephard, leads police to shallow grave in Lester State Forest

ABC Riverina December 9, 2020

New South Wales Police say the man convicted of murdering Allecha Boyd has led them to human remains believed to be those of the Wagga Wagga woman.

The discovery comes almost 10 months after Ms Boyd's family pleaded with Samuel John Shephard to reveal where he left her body as he was sentenced to 27 years' jail for her murder.

The 27-year-old was last seen alive in Coolamon in August 2017 and there have since been several searches in a nearby state forest for her remains.

Ms Boyd's sister, Rhiannon Boyd, shared her feelings about the news on Facebook.

"We can finally lay my sister to rest," she said.

Shephard was convicted of the fatal 2017 shooting of Ms Boyd and sentenced in February.

Another man and a woman were also sentenced for being accessories after the fact.

'Shallow' grave in remote bushland

NSW Police said the remains were found about 30 centimetres below the surface in Lester State Forest, 20 kilometres south-west of Coolamon.

Although forensic testing is yet to be carried out, police are confident the remains are those of Ms Boyd.

Superintendent Bob Noble said while it was relatively "shallow", it took hard work and some luck to find the grave, given the remoteness of the area.

"We were nearly ready to finish up for the day, but the investigators went back and had one last try and the scene was revealed," he said.

"So it was pretty pleasing the way it worked out."

Superintendent Noble could not say what new information led to the discovery.

"There's nothing to suggest [Shephard] wasn't motivated by sincere motives," he said.

It was the second time Shephard had accompanied police on a search of the area.

A 'callous' killer

Shephard was sentenced in February this year.

Facts tendered to the court stated he shot Ms Boyd in front of two people because he believed she was behind a break-in at this then-girlfriend's home.

Justice Richard Button found Shephard was a "very dangerous man" who had contemplated killing Ms Boyd for some time.

"The life of a fellow human being was extinguished for no reason other than the offender believing she was some sort of annoyance, or trouble, or threat," Justice Button said during sentencing.

Police, family 'never gave up'

The Boyd family had previously pleaded with Shephard directly and via the media to tell police where the body was buried.

"Where is she, Sam?" family members cried out during his sentencing in February.

Superintendent Noble said there had been multiple searches for Ms Boyd's body since she went missing in an area that was "remote and not well marked".

"It's been a painstaking process for police over a period of three years," he said.

"We would never give up, we had a significant number of searches and we were prepared to keep going if we needed to."

Rhiannon Boyd previously told media that her family would not give up until her sister was found.

"We have to find her," she said.

Shephard will be eligible for parole in 2038.