A woman has spoken of the anguish she feels living without her daughter, as
police continue to scour through rubbish at a Maryborough dump in southern
Queensland searching for her remains.
Detectives have alleged that 35-year-old Shae Francis was killed by her former
partner in October 2018, just weeks after she visited her mother in Hervey Bay
hospital, but her body has never been found.
Her mother Cheryl Lee Francis, who lives in Hervey Bay, said she has "had to
stand alone with all of this" over the last 12 months.
"It's been a very difficult and painful journey," she said.
"She was my fairy princess, she blessed my life, and she was a beautiful, happy,
creative, intelligent young woman.
"She certainly didn't deserve the treatment that she received."
Police suspect body was put in industrial bin
Recent information has led police to believe Shae's body was put in an
industrial bin on the Esplanade at Torquay in Hervey Bay before it was
transferred to the Maryborough dump.
Excavation work began on Monday with the search focusing on an area about the
size of an Olympic swimming pool.
Detective Senior Sergeant David Harbison said police and the State Emergency
Service (SES) have remained on-site and were "still looking for evidence in
respect to a sudden death investigation from late 2018".
"It's been some quite hard work — we've encountered some inclement weather to
date and nothing of interest has been located — we still remain confident,
however," he said.
"It's an area approximately 60 metres by 20 metres wide and about 10 metres deep
and it's taken quite a while to get into the right area."
Candlelight vigil to be held
Cheryl Lee Francis said she was "hoping and praying that my Shae comes home and
that my family as a whole will be able to grieve for her after a normal funeral
A candlelight vigil will be held at the Hub in Hervey Bay on Friday night, where
Shae Francis was living at the time she disappeared.
"We'll be hanging a cross where we know that was the place Shae was last seen
alive," she said.
"We are all going to stand together and support each other."
Shae's aunty, Janine Francis said it was important to remember her and celebrate
"A message to young girls to always believe in yourself, have self-worth and
self-love," she said.
"It's time we gained some strength, awareness and don't ever doubt yourself."
Shae Francis' former partner, James Cooper, was extradited from Victoria in June
last year and was charged with manslaughter and interfering with a corpse.
The 44-year-old briefly appeared via video link in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court
on Thursday where the case was adjourned until March 19.
Police dig fails to find missing Queensland woman Shae Francis
Flatley = Brisbane Times
An excavation at a Queensland property has failed to unearth any evidence of a
woman who hasn't been seen for more than a year.
Forensic officers spent five days scouring the Maryborough property at Ariadne
Street last week in the hope of finding something that would shed further light
on the suspicious disappearance of Shae Francis.
Detectives said on Monday they were "satisfied with the extensive search of
the area" but announced nothing had turned up.
Ms Francis was last seen at the Hervey Bay hospital when she visited a sick
relative in early October 2018.
The 35-year-old was reported missing in March 2019.
Victoria man Jason Cooper, 44, has been charged with her manslaughter
and interfering with a corpse.
Police allege he killed Ms Francis between October 14 and 24, 2018 at a
unit on the esplanade at Torquay, a suburb of Hervey Bay about 300km
north of Brisbane.
Mr Cooper also allegedly stole a dress, make-up case, mobile phone, bank
card and identification cards from Ms Francis.
He is accused of interfering with her corpse some time before December
16, 2018. He was extradited from Victoria in June and was remanded in
custody to reappear in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court in April.