Police forensic staff outside the Dudleigh St, Booval, home of Amanda.
Police forensic staff outside the Dudleigh St, Booval, home of Amanda.

Ipswich murder suspect charged

A MAN has been charged with murder and a woman with being an accessory after Booval woman Amanda Quirk’s body was found in New South Wales.

Ms Quirk’s disappearance from her rented Dudleigh Street home early this week sparked a two- state police investigation.

The 32-year-old’s body was found yesterday near Drake, 70km west of the northern NSW town of Casino, after police interviewed one of the suspects.

It was believed Ms Quirk, a single pensioner, was killed at her home late on March 31 before being driven across the border and dumped.

Her body was found down a small gully only metres from the side of a quiet stretch of the Bruxner Highway, just out of Drake.

A post mortem examination will be conducted to determine the cause of her death.

In a bizarre twist, Ms Quirk was a friend of Riverview woman Dulcie Birt, whose ex-partner has been charged with Ms Birt’s murder, despite her body not having been found.

While addressing media at Dudleigh Street yesterday morning, Ipswich Detective Inspector Mick Niland said police believed an incident which occurred in the late hours of March 31 led to Ms Quirk’s death.

“If anyone has any information in relation to the movements of the deceased on the evening of Wednesday, March 31 at Dudleigh Street they should contact Ipswich CIB or Crime Stoppers,” Inspector Niland said.

“Local detectives and homicide detectives have travelled to NSW to continue investigations into this matter.”

Yesterday afternoon, Ipswich police had charged a 36-year-old Lawnton man with murder and a 32-year-old Ipswich woman with being an accessory after the fact.

The man is expected to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court today charged over the death of Ms Quirk.

Ms Quirk’s distraught father Larry Quirk said his family was struggling to understand why someone would harm his daughter.

“She lived in that house by herself and she used to take in people who had nowhere to go – people who had just got out of prison or who were on drugs – she would give a hand to people who were down and out,” Mr Quirk said. “She’d been in that situation herself a few years ago and got out of it. She had been on drugs and had seen what those people go through. I guess that’s what you get for helping people.”

He said the man accused of murdering his daughter had been living in the Dudleigh Street house with her.

A disability pensioner for most of her adult life, Ms Quirk suffered from a disorder which affected her vision and stopped her working.

According to her family she was a proud lesbian and she always kept her home spotless.

Although she didn’t have any children, Ms Quirk was very fond of cats and had a number of them living in the home.

“She had one cat that was as big as a panther – it lived in her arms like a baby,” Mr Quirk said.

“Cats were her life.”

He said Ms Quirk’s cats had not been seen since she went missing last week and her family believed someone had harmed the pets.

Ms Quirk leaves behind one sister and two half-siblings in addition to her parents and grandparents.

“She was very close to her mother,” Mr Quirk said.

“It’s a terrible thing for a parent to go through.”

Michelle Anne Mondientz, 32, appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder on March 31.

A friend of the family who attended court yesterday yelled out, “You bitch” as Mondientz was led back to the Ipswich watchhouse.

The man, who did not want his name published, told The Queensland Times Ms Quirk took in Mondientz and a 36-year-old man a few months ago.

“She didn’t deserve it – she took these people in and she was kind to them,” the man said outside the court.

He said Ms Quirk had a difficult life but was well-loved by her family and friends who were in shock after hearing of her death.

“She didn’t ask for much in life,” he said.

“She was happy-go-lucky and she was still able to be bubbly.

“She never did anything to harm anyone.”

The man said he came to court because he had to see Mondientz in person as he had never met her before.

“She wasn’t showing any remorse; she wasn’t upset or anything,” he said.

The man said Ms Quirk was a former drug addict and had suffered depression recently.

Police planned to oppose Mondientz’s release from custody but defence lawyer David Love did not apply for bail.

Mondientz is scheduled to next appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court for mention on May 19.

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