Man in court over Australian murders
A man has been charged with two counts of murder in a notorious, 20-year-old case that terrified residents of Western Australia and became one of the country's longest-running investigations.
The development in the so-called "Claremont serial killings" case comes two decades after three women vanished from the wealthy Perth suburb of Claremont.
The remains of two of the women - Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon - were later found in remote areas while the third, Sarah Spiers, remains missing.
Over the years authorities have offered hefty cash rewards for information, took DNA samples from 2,000 Perth taxi drivers and even recruited a convicted Perth serial killer, David Birnie, for his insight.
Yesterday, police charged 48-year-old Bradley Robert Edwards with murdering Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, and with the sexual assault of two other young women. Police did not elaborate on what led them to Edwards.
"There is still much work to be done, but this has already been the biggest and most complex investigation in WA (Western Australia) history," Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said.
Edwards lives in the Perth suburb of Kewdale. Police have accused him of abducting Ms Rimmer, a 23-year-old childcare worker, on June 9, 1996, as she was on her way home from a night out with friends.
Police say Edwards abducted Ms Glennon, a 27-year-old lawyer, on March 14, 1997, after she, too, had spent the evening out with her friends.
The investigation into the disappearance of Ms Spiers, an 18-year-old secretary, is continuing.
Edwards appeared briefly in Perth Magistrates' Court yesterday.
He did not enter a plea and will return to court next month.