Shandee 'stabbed several times' with unknown weapon
UPDATE: POLICE have continued to make progress with their investigation into the homicide of 23-year-old Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn.
With the investigation entering its fifth day, police including local detectives, intelligence officers, scientific officers and detectives from the homicide squad, are continuing to conduct exhaustive enquiries into the movements of Ms Blackburn on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Regional Crime Coordinator, Detective Acting Inspector Paul Elliot said preliminary post mortem results indicated Ms Blackburn was stabbed several times with an as-yet unknown weapon.
"While we continue to make good progress with our investigation, we still need to speak to anybody who was in the general vicinity of where Ms Blackburn was found on Saturday morning."
Detective Acting Inspector Elliot said police had continued to receive valuable information from members of the public overnight.
"I'm pleased to report the man seen on CCTV footage walking through the McDonald's car park has made contact with police," he said.
"We are very grateful for his assistance, and indeed for the assistance of everybody who has called police with information since Operation Lima Zimzala commenced."
An Investigation Centre remains in operation at the Mackay Police Station while investigations continue.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
POLICE have released CCTV footage of a number of people they believe may be witnesses in the murder investigation of Shandee Blackburn.
The footage is of several cars and one man using a McDonald's drive-through in the early hours of Saturday morning, around the time Shandee was viciously attacked.
Central Region crime co-ordinator Detective Acting Inspector Paul Elliot stressed the people in the footage were not persons of interest, just possible witnesses that they would like to talk to.
"Our never-ending search for evidence is obviously continuing," he said.
"We've identified some potential witnesses that we'd like people to (identify).
"If you're the driver of one of these vehicles or you own one of these vehicles we are urging you to come forward, you may be a potential witness in helping us solve this matter.
"We are hopeful they saw something that may assist us in our investigation."
Shandee Blackburn's body was autopsied yesterday and preliminary results, including a cause of death, are expected to be known today.
On Monday Shandee's mother and sister bravely fronted the media and appealed for anyone with information about her murder to come forward.
The unexplained attack and subsequent death of the young woman has caused shock and outrage in the Mackay community with Facebook pages "RIP Shandee Blackburn" and "Justice for Shandee Blackburn" being created since the weekend.
Dozens of people have gone onto the pages to express their grief and anger over her death.
Det Insp Elliot has urged people commenting on these social media pages to consider what they post and be mindful of the family's feelings.
The 23-year-old was found in Boddington St in the early hours of Saturday morning with multiple serious injuries.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.
WITH police investigating the possibility that Shandee Blackburn was murdered in a random attack, what should women in Mackay be doing to improve their personal safety? Has walking home alone become a thing of the past?
"I think (Shandee's murder) has made me think about growing up in Mackay," REDC CEO Narelle Pearse said.
"Growing up we used to walk home alone all the time. It makes me sad to think we can't do that any more.
"Nobody deserves to be killed - people shouldn't have to worry about their safety."
Ms Pearse said people in the community were shocked and enraged by the murder and were hoping the culprit would be caught soon.
DETECTIVE ACTING INSPECTOR PAUL ELLIOT
Detective Acting Inspector Paul Elliot said they won't know whether Shandee Blackburn was attacked at random until they find the culprit.
"I don't think there's any measure of shocking in this matter because it's right at the top of the shocking scenarios," he said.
"Why doesn't she (Shandee) have the right to walk home on her own.
"It's not as though we're in a world where females can't be treated exactly the same as males."
MAYOR DEIRDRE COMERFORD
"It should be every member of the community's right to walk their streets safely and without fear," Cr Deirdre Comerford said.
"I'd like to think if I leave work today I have the right to arrive home safely.
"In a community like ours you'd like to think you can walk home safely.
"The reality is we're a changing community and our demographics are changing; in this environment we have to err on caution but without fear," she said.
What you said on Facebook:
- Emma Hunt It's not safe to walk home alone in the dark anywhere these days! Trust no one.
- Jesse N Alarna If you had common sense you wouldn't walk home alone in the first place. No matter where you are.
- Emma Jackson But the point is you SHOULD be able to walk home alone without being attacked. Anywhere. What a sad society we live in.
- Chantele Hoey You should be able to walk home any time but unfortunately it's not safe any more!!! It's disgusting!!
- Lynda Mckee Cairns was once the capital for danger to women seems Mackay is taking over, sad indeed.