Detectives are appealing for assistance from members of the public as they continue to investigate the death of a woman found in a wheelie bin near Wollongong in 2011.Valmai Jane BirchAround 10pm on Monday 22 March 2011, police from the Wollongong Local Area Command attended a unit block on Woods Avenue, Woonona, after residents reported smelling a foul odour coming from a flat.
Source: Illawarra Mercury
Police have released two images of Woonona murder victim Valmai Jane Birch in a bid to jog the memories of anyone who may have seen the 34-year-old mother in the lead-up to her death in March 2011.
Ms Birch’s body was found hidden in a wheelie bin in the bathroom of her Woods Avenue flat on March 22 after neighbours reported smelling a foul odour.
Police forced entry into the flat about 10pm where they made the grisly discovery.
At the time, Woods Avenue resident Brett Atkinson told the Mercury he heard screams coming from the unit in the weeks before Ms Birch’s death.
“We definitely heard the screams and it was pretty bad, it was full on,” he said.
The two images, taken on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, were sourced from CCTV cameras at Wollongong Railway Station. They are among the last images taken of Ms Birch before her death.
Detective Acting Inspector Darryn Gunn from the Homicide Squad said police would like to hear from anyone who may be able to help with the investigation into Ms Birch’s death.
“We believe Ms Birch was murdered between Wednesday, March 9 and Monday, March 22, 2011,” he said.
“We’re particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Ms Birch during February or March 2011.
“It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the information may seem, it could help us crack this case and bring whoever is responsible for Ms Birch’s death to justice.
“Please remember, information can be provided anonymously and will be treated confidentially.”
The morning after Ms Birch’s body was discovered, Wollongong crime manager Inspector Joe Mura said her body may have been in the bin for “a number of weeks”.
Neighbours remembered Ms Birch as a pleasant woman but said they believed she had problems.
Ms Birch is survived by her two young sons.