Boyfriend arrested over the 2011 death of Valmai Birch
POLICE have arrested the former boyfriend of Valmai Birch, whose body was found stuffed in a wheelie bin in her apartment near Wollongong in 2011.
A Homicide Squad investigation began after Ms Birch's neighbours reported a foul odour coming from her unit on Woods Ave, Woonona about 10pm on Monday, March 22 that year. Her remains were found in a wheelie bin in her apartment.
Ms Birch's 52-year-old de facto partner at the time of her death was a suspect but was not charged.
His arrest at a home in Kiama this morning came after Strike Force Gareth investigators, including local Wollongong detectives, referred their brief of evidence to the Office Director of Public Prosecutions.
"Following advice provided to police by the ODPP, and following further inquiries, strike force detectives, assisted by Southern Region Operations Support Group, arrested a 52-year-old man at a home at Kiama about 7.30am today," police said in a statement.
The man was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station where officers say they expect to charge him with manslaughter.
A CCTV image of Ms Birch's final known sighting, at Wollongong train station, was released in July 2014 in the hope someone would come forward with information on her movements.