– A former policeman is the prime suspect in a murder.
Homicide Squad detectives are focusing on the man, an officer for more than a decade, who knew Brenda Goudge, 61. She was found in a swimming pool at her Wantirna South home in July 2011.
The married father, with whom Mrs Goudge was known to have been arguing for months, has been questioned and is the only suspect.
He lacks an alibi, telling police he fell asleep in front of the TV at home. He has twice refused a lie-detector test.
“We believe Mrs Goudge knew her attacker and we believe there is a person…or persons, that know exactly what happened,” Detective Inspector John Potter said.
“We have spoken to certain individuals that we would regard as persons of interest…but we are unable to proceed without that crucial breakthrough.”
A $500,000 reward has been offered for information leading to a conviction.
“If anyone is involved as an accessory, an indemnity would be considered against prosecution,” Detective Inspector Potter said. “That will include someone who might have assisted after Mrs Goudge’s death, perhaps to dispose of certain things or cover up…or provide false information.
“There’s one, possibly more people, who know what happened. And we’re hoping this reward money will encourage them to come forward.”
Police say it is likely the killer got into the home through the back door under cover of darkness and attacked Mrs Goudge in her bed as she slept.
The grandmother’s body and all the bedding were found dumped in her pool the next day by her daughter Rebecca, 31, and a colleague.
It is believed chlorine destroyed crucial evidence.
“We haven’t been able to identify whoever is responsible from the scene,” Detective Inspector Potter said.
Police forensically tested a silver 4WD vehicle owned by the ex-officer, which he sold after Mrs Goudge’s death.
The man lives close to where detectives believe items belonging to the killer may have been dumped.
“We are looking for a number of items,” Detective Inspector Potter said. “Somebody can help us. Somebody knows exactly what we want – and why, probably,” he said.
“We are talking about a 61-year-old woman, a mother, a grandmother, a person who is well regarded within her community, her business and her family.
“She didn’t deserve this; her family didn’t deserve this.
“For the sake of this family…we need to find out exactly what happened and we need the person who knows to call us,” he said – Jon Kaila


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