Cairns man charged with mother-of-two Donna Steele’s murder

Queensland Police had conducted extensive investigations into Ms Steele's death.

Queensland Police had conducted extensive investigations into Ms Steele's death. Photo: Twitter

A man has been charged with murdering Cooktown mum Donna Steele, one week after police offered a $250,000 reward for information about her killer.

Queensland police arrested the 25-year-old man from the Cairns suburb of Mooroobool on Friday night.

He was charged with murder, interfering with a corpse, and enter dwelling with intent, and appeared in the Cairns Magistrate Court on Saturday morning.

The arrest was made just hours after police indicated they had made a breakthrough in the case of Ms Steele, but were awaiting more information before they could lay charges.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan had just one week earlier issued a $250,000 reward and indemnity for those not directly involved with Ms Steele’s death.

donna steele murder charge

Ms Steele, 42, was found at Leggett’s Crossing north of Cooktown on August 6 last year. Photo: AAP

Police have been hunting for the mother-of-two’s killer since her body was found in the Endeavour River, four days after she was last seen at the Cooktown IGA on August 2.

The investigation included aerial and ground searches of homes, properties and waterways, with a man’s shoe located in the Endeavour River area on October 31.

Police say scientific analysis has been conducted on more then 200 items, with trace DNA identified on some of these.

Detective Inspector Damien Hansen indicated on Friday that they believed a key person of interest in the case was from Cairns, but would not speculate on whether he travelled there specifically to kill her.

Police attended the home of the Mooroobool man at 9.30pm Friday and took him into custody.

He was interviewed and charged a short time later.


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