Borce Ristevski's lawyer concedes he is 'number one suspect' in wife Karen's murder

Karen Ristevski and husband Borce. His lawyer said on Wednesday he is the 'number one' murder suspect. Photo / Supplied
Karen Ristevski and husband Borce. His lawyer said on Wednesday he is the 'number one' murder suspect. Photo / Supplied

Borce Ristevski is the chief suspect in the murder of his wife Karen, the Melbourne man's lawyer conceded on Wednesday.

Mr Ristevski sought the legal counsel of criminal lawyer Rob Stary this morning, Mr Stary told Melbourne media, just a day after the eight-month missing person's investigation into his wife's disappearance officially became a murder probe with the discovery of her body.

Bushwalkers made the grisly find in the Macedon Regional Park on Monday.

Forensic testing identified the badly decomposed remains as those of the 47-year-old mother-of-one on Tuesday.

By Wednesday morning her husband was seeking the advice of his lawyer, according to Fairfax Media.

"It's pretty clear police have him as their number one suspect," Mr Stary told The Age.

The criminal lawyer said he had been advising Mr Ristevski since the investigation into Mrs Ristevski's disappearance began.

Mr Ristevski told police he was the last person to see his wife on the morning of June 29, 2016, when she left their home to go for a walk after an argument.

"We've been advising him since day one really," Mr Stary said.

"Obviously his wife has been found and there's an autopsy report been completed, he wants to see what that could mean."

Police have not publicly named Mr Ristevski as the prime suspect in his wife's murder.

It comes as Mr Ristevski and family members, including his daughter with his deceased wife, 21-year-old Sarah, hole up in the couple's Avondale Heights home to mourn Mrs Ristevski.

Her cousin Lisa Gray said the family were devastated over the loss of a the "generous and loving person".

On Tuesday, family and friends were seen entering the Ristevski home following the confirmation the decomposed body was that of Mrs Ristevski.

The discovery was made by a passer-by on a dirt track in dense bushland at Mount Macedon, about 65km north of Melbourne, on Monday.

While police confirmed the eight-month search for the mother had ended in tragedy, the chilling discovery left more questions than answers.

"Police can confirm the human remains found at Mount Macedon yesterday are that of missing Avondale Heights woman Karen Ristevski," Victoria Police said on Tuesday afternoon.

It came after months of searching by the SES who scoured bushland and waterways in the area. Police were drawn to the location after phone towers traced mobile phones of Mrs Ristevski and her husband to the location the day she disappeared.

The positive identification follows forensic testing carried out on the body found in bush 52km from the site where Ms Ristevski was last seen.

Mrs Ristevski's brother Stephen Williams visited the site where the body was found. He spent two hours walking the dirt track with a red rose in his back pocket but declined to give a comment, the Herald Sun reports.

The site where Karen's body was found. Photo / Nicole Garmston / News Corp Australia
The site where Karen's body was found. Photo / Nicole Garmston / News Corp Australia

Now a host of unanswered questions remain over how and why her body was found in the regional park and what happened in the moments leading up to her death.

Mrs Ristevski, 47, vanished nearly eight months ago and her remains were found less than 30km north of Toolern Vale, where a two-day search was centred two months ago.

On December 19 and 20 last year, police drained dams and searched countryside south of the bushland where the body was found on Monday.

It was a case that gripped Victoria from the moment Mrs Ristevski left her $1.1 million home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne's north west, on June 29, 2016, and disappeared without a trace.

Her husband, Borce said his wife went for a walk to "clear her head" after an argument over finances.

He reportedly told family members she may have been snatched by a stranger.

Mr Ristevski also dismissed claims by his estranged son Anthony Rickard, a confessed ice user, that he had overheard Mrs Ristevski talking about leaving Borce when their daughter Sarah turned 21.

Mr Rickard also approached Channel Nine's A Current Affair in August in an attempt to sell an unsubstantiated story, The Age reported. He had also made the claim on social media in posts that were later removed.

Mrs Ristevski hadn't used her bank accounts or phone since she disappeared. Her brother in law Vasko Ristevski, said at the time she may have travelled overseas on a fake passport.

As Missing Person Squad detectives collected hundreds of hours of footage, police theorised she had met with foul play.

It was revealed on Tuesday that a witness told police he saw a man with a shovel at the location where Mrs Ristevski's body was found.

The witness allegedly joked "What did you do to the body?" to the man but was met with an expressionless face, the Herald Sun reports.

Local resident Ian Flannery told 9 News he "could not believe" the grisly find near a quiet cul-de-sac.

"I'm a bit flummoxed. It's very, very unusual," he said.

Police conducted a line search at the scene on Monday and are keen to speak to anyone that may have seen any suspicious activity in that area.

"Missing Persons Squad detectives are appealing for anyone that may have been walking along the dirt track off Loch Road or anyone that may have seen any vehicles to contact them," police said on Tuesday.

Investigators are also hoping to speak to anyone that may have been at Mount Macedon any time from June last year and took photos or any video footage in the area.

On Monday, Karen's nephew, Chris Ristevski, was stunned when told by the Herald Sun of the discovery of the body.

"I'm shocked, I haven't heard anything about this so I'm still trying to take it all in," he said.

The remains were found less than 30km north of Toolern Vale, where a two-day search for Mrs Ristevski was centred two months ago.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Apr 2017 22:04:32 Processing Time: 599ms