Killer’s clue prompts search for girl’s body

The man who killed teenager Hayley Dodd made some revelations during his trial that prompted police to launch a new search for the girl’s remains.

A new search for the remains of teenager Hayley Dodd was sparked by comments her killer made during his trial.

The 17-year-old girl vanished while walking along a rural road near Badgingarra, northeast of Perth, in July 1999.

Detectives from the special crime squad and forensic officers have been searching a property in Badgingarra since Tuesday.

Hayley’s killer Francis John Wark, 65, once lived at the property and last week he was sentenced to a record 18 years in prison for manslaughter.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the new search was prompted by comments Wark made during his trial.

“He made some comments while he was in the dock,” Mr Dawson told 6PR radio on Wednesday.

“He was responding to questions about what might be under certain areas, including a water tank and I think it was a long-drop toilet.

“Our officers will continue to extensively search again. It’s painstaking, but most important, we’re not going to give up looking for Hayley.

“Hayley’s family deserve a resolution and our thoughts remain with her family.”

Police previously searched the Badgingarra property in 2013 during which ground-penetrating radar technology was used.

“He made some comments (during he trial) which had not been said before,” Mr Dawson said.

“I know when I visited just to support the officers doing the work there, we pretty well deconstructed the whole property, but there are slabs of concrete and all sorts of things there.

“There appear to be at least several more opportunities which we want to conclusively eliminate.”

Mr Dawson could not say how long the process could take.

“It will take as long as it takes … the place looked like a mining site last time I was there,” he said.

Asked whether officers had found anything of interest so far, Mr Dawson said: “I’ve had nothing reported to me yet.”

Wark was serving a prison term in Queensland for repeatedly raping a woman he gave a lift to in June 2007 when West Australian police charged him in 2015 with murdering Hayley.

A WA Supreme Court judge sitting without a jury convicted Wark of murder and sentenced him to life in prison, with a minimum of 21 years, but he successfully appealed and a retrial was ordered.

A jury last month convicted Wark of manslaughter following a six-week retrial.

Hayley’s mother Margaret Dodd, Premier Mark McGowan and Mr Dawson have all urged Wark to reveal where he disposed of Hayley’s body.

Western Australia has no body, no parole laws, and Ms Dodd was a huge driver of the legislation.

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