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Husband's grief in Jill's final footsteps

DEVASTATED Tom Meagher has retraced his tragic wife Jill's last footsteps through the Melbourne suburb where they lived.

As police returned to the shallow grave where the Louth woman's body was found on September 28 to search for evidence, Tom viewed a makeshift shrine close to his home.

According to local reports, police have begun fresh searches of the Gisborne area of Melbourne.

A police spokeswoman confirmed officers were on the scene again today "as part of the investigation".

A plaque has been erected at the site, which has been visited by dozens of mourners since the 29-year-old's murder .

An inscription on the plaque reads "loved by family, friends and many Australians whose hearts have been touched".

Yesterday Tom said he was coping as he solemnly walked along Sydney Road where his wife was last seen alive.

At the nearby Brunswick Baptist Church he stopped to absorb the hundreds of floral tributes left by locals who have been touched by the horrific story of Jill's rape and murder.

One well-wisher hugged the Cabinteely, Dublin, native before he continued along the path his wife had taken.

The makeshift shrine outside the boutique where popular ABC worker Jill was last spotted had to be moved by funeral staffers yesterday as it had begun to block the footpath.

Now members of the public have begun placing tributes outside the apartment complex where the young couple lived.

On Facebook, Mr Meagher thanked the thousands of people who attended Sunday's march in honour of his wife.

He wrote: "Thank you, Melbourne, for the march on Sydney Rd. Jill's family and friends are truly touched."

The city of Melbourne is preparing to say its last goodbye to Jill this Friday when her funeral will take place.

Her parents George and Edith will then take their daughter's ashes back to Perth.

A private funeral service for immediate family and friends will be held in Melbourne on Friday at 10.30am.

The public have been invited to a memorial Mass in her hometown of Drogheda.

It comes as police and emergency service vehicles combed roadsides on the outskirts of Melbourne, searching for evidence in the death.

Jill vanished on September 22 about 450 metres from her home as she walked from a bar after a night with colleagues.

Adrian Ernest Bayley (41) of Coburg inMelbourne has been charged with her rape and murder.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said: "Police are in the Gisborne South area as part of the investigation into Jillian Meagher.

"As the matter is now before the courts, police will not be making any further comment."

hnews@herald.ie


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