Mother killed in planned ambush, police allege

Police charge Slade Murdok with murder

Wendy Sleeman whose son is accused of murdering her and hiding her body in a Brisbane garage had been ambushed, police allege.

Slade Murdok, 30, faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with the murder of his 61-year-old mother.

Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said Ms Sleeman died in a planned ambush and was subject to “traumatic violence”.

“There’s certainly evidence that has been located in this investigation that there’s a lot of planning involved,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

wendy sleeman

Ms Sleeman’s body was found in Brisbane, after she vanished from her Gold Coast home. Photo: Facebook

Ms Sleeman’s brother Mike released a statement thanking police for finding his sister’s body.

“We can now lay our beloved sister to rest,” Mr Sleeman said.

“We are profoundly saddened by Wendy’s death. She was gentle, funny, caring, clever, loved her labradors and always thought of other people before herself.”

Mr Sleeman said that in accordance with his sister’s wishes, the family would not hold a funeral service.

“In lieu of leaving flowers, could we ask that people consider making a donation in her memory to either Rosie’s or to the Labrador Retriever Club of Queensland.

“We will miss our beloved sister forever and ask for you to respect our privacy at this terrible time.”

Murdok, from the outer southwest Brisbane suburb of Durack, was arrested on Wednesday last week after Ms Sleeman went missing from her Gold Coast home and was later found dead in Brisbane.

He appeared in court on Thursday last week and was refused bail on a string of domestic violence-related charges, including kidnapping, assault, stalking and attempted arson.

Police prosecutor Eddie Fraser told magistrate Belinda Merrin on Tuesday that Murdok was not required to appear in person or via video link for the murder charge to be heard.

Police have alleged that Murdok murdered Ms Sleeman as part of a domestic violence offence on or about Tuesday last week – the same day she went missing – and that the killing took place at the Gold Coast.

Murdok’s solicitor, Rodney Keyte, told the court his client had an “unusual request” to pass on to the magistrate.

“He has an injury to his hand … he asks for an order that fingerprints not be taken until it has healed,” Mr Keyte said.

Ms Merrin said she did not understand the request and did not know which power would be used to grant it if she could.

Murdok was ordered to reappear at Southport Magistrates Court on February 14, where he is also due for a further hearing on the domestic violence-related charges related to Ms Sleeman’s alleged abduction.

Police began looking for Ms Sleeman on Tuesday last week, shortly after she contacted police to notify them of a disturbance at her Elanora home.

Blood was found at the property and a doormat on fire which was quickly extinguished, however nobody was located.

The search ended two days later when they recovered her body from a car parked inside a garage at Windsor, in Brisbane’s inner north.

Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday held a brief hearing on separate charges filed against Murdok last year.

Murdok had been released on bail at the time of Ms Sleeman’s alleged murder last week.

The 2022 matter was adjourned until May 19 in Mental Health Court.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 131 114


Topics: Queensland
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