Missing Toddler’s Remains Found.

daniel-thomas.jpg

Police believe they may have discovered the remains of missing Myrtleford toddler Daniel Thomas.

The discovery of bones was made by dogs in the backyard of a house in Lawrence Street Myrtleford, a house once rented by the boy’s mother Donna.

Daniel Thomas was last seen alive on October 15 2003 when his mother left him in the care of babysitter Mandy Martyn.

A crime scene has been established and homicide detectives are making their way to the scene.

More details as they come to hand. 

UPDATE: The Border Mail has reported this piece about the clearly unstable “babysitter” Mandy Martin assaulting a media photographer with a piece of wood and leading the press on a chase around Victoria’s North East…

UPDATE 2: The mother of Daniel Thomas has spoken to media, describing her love for the toddler and the anguish since his disappearance.

UPDATE 3: Police say it could take several weeks using forensic evidence to determine if the remains discovered in a Myrtleford backyard belong to missing toddler Daniel Thomas. 

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About alburywodongaonline

Hi I'm Jack Stone (a pseudonym), I'm a long-time Albury resident and I think it's a great place to live and work. I have a strong interest in local events and media and I started this site because I think a different perspective is often needed when reporting local news. I take a keen interest in local politics, as well as what's going on at the state and federal level, I'm also a supporter of social justice issues, the envirionment and the need for people to have a say in the events that effect their lives. I'm a fan of the Border Bandits and I'd love to see both teams take the flag this year, and next year, and maybe the one after that too.
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16 Responses to Missing Toddler’s Remains Found.

  1. raydixon says:

    Looks pretty obvious what happened now.

    I’m not going to comment on my blog about this but I think this is another blow to the town that can’t take a trick.

    Amazingly the ABC country hour was being broadcast from Myrtleford today and they were just in the process of talking it all up when the news broke.

    I’ve called Myrtleford the “Moe of the North East” but I actually believe that’s an insult to Moe. They don’t have anywhere near the economic problems Myrtleford has and they actually get off their arses and stop complaining about their bad luck and poor image.

    Anyway, this is about that little boy and the whole sorry saga is just so tragic. I heard the grandmother being interviewed on the radio today and it was truly one of the most emotional things I’ve ever heard on the ABC. I feel sorry for her. Not much sympathy for the rest though.

  2. According to the Age, the father found out about the remains being found while live on air, speaking to Neil Mitchell. That has to be the most cruel and parasitic thing I’ve seen from a major media outlet in a long time. Mitchell should hang his head in shame for attempting to turn that poor man’s pain into ratings fodder.

  3. raydixon says:

    The footage I just saw on Sky News (I’ve been working late and I didn’t catch the earlier TV news) really made Myrtleford look like the crap town it is.

    The look of the crappy rented house where Daniel was found and the shots of foul-mouthed Mandy Martin threatening to “break th fx&%#ng TV camera” outside her dump of a house in Standish Street (the same one we saw in 2003) painted an image of a real crap-box of a town.

    And this is the place that wants to develop tourism! I know I’ve been hard on Myrtleford but the place gives me the s…ts. If you let a town get run down to the lowest socio-economic levels then it will attract the lowest socio-economic level as residents. That’s what’s happened here.

    As the saying goes, Myrtleford … hate the life!

  4. Dave, you’re right that is a dispicable bit of “journalism” if indeed it did play out as you say.
    Let’s hope it’s enough to earn Neil Mitchell a turn in the hotseat under the grill that is Media watch under Johnathon Homes’ stewardship.

    Ray, I think you’re right too, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the town, I’ve resisted the temtation to jump to conclusions about what happened, but it certainly does raise some serious questions.
    I doubt the homicide detectives would have been doing their jobs properly if they hadn’t already considered those very same questions previously, but the key word here is evidence.
    Maybe the discovery of the little boy’s body will lead to a conviction, of whom I wouldn’t like to speculate.
    Up until now, it seems the media coverage has portrayed Donna Thomas (perhaps rightly) as the grieving mother and Mandy Martin frankly couldn’t have done a better job of making herself out to be a bad tempered, violent, mentally unstable scumbag.
    This new development may turn all that on it’s head.
    I’ll tell you, if there’s one thing guaranteed to turn ordinary members of the public into a foaming-at-the-mouth, baying-for-blood angry mob, it’s someone they felt sorry for later coming under the spotlight as a suspect, especially in an unconscionable act like the murder of a child.
    Look at the McCann’s for example.
    I wonder just how difficult it will be to find an impartial jury after all this.

  5. raydixon says:

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about the mother’s involvement or otherwise. It’s hard to imagine how anyone would be stupid enough to place the remains of her child under her own house and then move away but leave them there to be dug up by the next tenant’s rotweillers.

    Apparently the bones were just one foot under the ground. How the police missed this though is a real mystery. They’ve been back to Myrtleford many times to conduct extensive searches. Maybe they should have sent their own sniffer dogs around to the obvious location(s).

  6. or used a methane probe.

    I guess it’s easy to say “they should’ve” after the fact.
    Certainly the babysitter’s actions after the discovery could be construed as incriminating.
    It’d be nice to think that this whole episode will be resolved shortly.
    Whoever killed Daniel, I don’t think police are dealing with a master criminal. The whole episode smacks of cave-man brutality rather than a carefully planed and orchestrated murder.
    I’d say it’s more good luck than good management that the perpetrator isn’t already in a prison cell.
    It’ll probably raise as many questions about why the investigation took so long when the truth comes out.

  7. raydixon says:

    Well, the guy heading up the investigation was the same one who conducted that ‘brilliant’ investigation into the Moe Leskie case. That went well.

  8. Meanwhile they don’t seem to be any closer to a resolve in the Kath Bergamin “disappearance”. Thomas Towle will be out in less than five years it seems.
    Maybe we should be promoting the North East as the place to go if you want to go to commit murder most horrid…and get away with it.

  9. From Update 1.
    Mandy Martin lives in Myrtleford, drives to Yack and has to ask for directions to Beechworth? Hmm, your suggestion that this tragedy is not the work of a master criminal is starting to gain traction AWOL.

  10. raydixon says:

    The ABC reporter described that bizarre chase as similar to O.J. Simpson’s ‘escape bid’ when he was followed by the media for hours on a freeway. Mandy is not quite in O.J.’s league as a celebrity but the common theme could be that “guilty parties” always make a run for it. Although O.J. was found ‘not guilty’ of course!

    I still think it’ll be hard to convict anyone over this case without a confession. The DNA of the killer is unlikely to still be there after more than 4 years so what other evidence do the keystone cops have?

  11. This is going to stain the town for years. It’s been over a decade since Jayden Leskie was murdered and it’s an event that still defines Moe. Myrtleford better get used to being known as “the town where the dogs found the murdered baby”.

  12. yes it’s a bad situation. The “troubles” they had there nearly destroyed the town of Snowtown in South Australia.
    I understand it even effected property values there.
    There was an exceedingly poor taste drive to turn the murders into a “tourist attraction”, complete with tours and souveneir memorabilia.
    Lovely class of tourist that would attract I’m sure.

  13. raydixon says:

    “Myrtleford better get used to being known as “the town where the dogs found the murdered baby”.

    The baby’s skull actually!!!

    You are right about the impacts Dave, but try telling Noel! Over the past 4 years the most asked question at the Mytrtlefor visitor’s centre (not that they get many visitors) has been, “where is Mandy Martin’s house”.

    I kid you not, it’s true – although obviously Noel would deny that. I would think those types – the ghouls – would be just about the only “tourists” they’ll attract now, and they’ll just be passing through on their way to Bright anyway.

    (Boy, imagine the reaction if I said that on AO)

  14. ha ha so you stir up a s*#t fight here? Well I guess it’s only fair.
    Mandy Martin is a bit of a circus freak, that much is true. They’d probably make a bit of money wheeling her around the country-side in a cage.
    Of course they’d have to find her first.

    It’s an unfortunate fact that events like this do tarnish a town’s reputation, you might not be able to find it on a map but I bet you’ve heard of Truro for instance, for all the WRONG reasons.

    It’s a shame, Myrtleford is a pretty place really.

    Maybe they should use their government grant to build a monument to Daniel Thomas rather than their thinly veiled shrine to the tobacco industry.

  15. raydixon says:

    I hope Noel doesn’t read that! BTW, I’m not trying to stir up the situation, I’m just stating the obvious, which is that Myrtleford’s reputation (which wasn’t the greatest anyway) is certainly down the toilet now.

    What concerns me, as a ratepayer of The Alpine shire, is that it might mean we’ll see even more of our money poured into trying to help the town with projects that they neither need or really want in a bid to make it more attractive to tourists. And meanwhile the town of Bright, which does need and want important infrastructure improvements, will continue to be ignored.

    I’d say the next council budget will be all about helping poor old Myrtleford. What a pity they won’t help themselves.

  16. alburywodongaonline says:

    nothing stirs up trouble like stating the obvious Ray, I know, I’ve been banned/ deleted/ edited/ censured on every civilized thread in the entire blogosphere (plus a few less than civilized ones too).

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