SPECIALIST police divers spent yesterday searching a flooded mine shaft at Wattle Flat as detectives continued their investigations into the alleged murder of missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell.
Two divers spent hours crawling through abandoned mine shaft, which was 30 metres underwater in places, however no evidence relating to the case was found by police.
Andrew Russell, 23 was last seen alive on June 2, 2009, leaving a William Street newsagency, where he bought his dad a birthday card. He was reported missing 18 days later, on June 20.
After a lengthy police operation involving Bathurst and Sydney detectives two men were charged with Mr Russell’s murder in January this year.
Since then police have continued their investigations into the 23-year-old’s disappearance and, as a result, have undertaken a number of land searches in the Sofala area.
Chifley Local Area Command Inspector Mark Wall said yesterday’s search at Wattle Flat was the result of information received from the public.
He confirmed police had already searched sites in the Wattle Flat and Sofala areas including abandoned mine shafts, however, Mr Russell’s body was yet to be located.
Inspector Wall urged anyone one with information about the whereabouts of Mr Russell’s remains to contact Bathurst Police or Crime Stoppers.
“Every piece of information which is received is assessed and acted on,” Inspector Wall said, adding yesterday’s search was months in the planning.
“We have invested an enormous amount of resources in trying locate Mr Russell’s remains and we urge anyone with information on his alleged murder to come forward.”
Yesterday the divers searched an old mine shaft known as the Queensland Mine on an isolated area of a privately-owned property, accessible only via four-wheel-drive.
It took police from Chifley’s Rescue Squad the best part of a day to secure the area and rendering it safe for divers to enter the water.