Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

British Student Hurled to Her Death from 65ft Bridge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

British Student Hurled to Her Death from 65ft Bridge

Article excerpt


A YOUNG British backpacker has been thrown off a bridge to in a horrific attack while travelling in Australia.

Caroline Stuttle, a 19-year-old gap year student from York, was attacked, robbed and then hurled from a bridge over the Burnett river in Bundaberg, 220 miles north of Brisbane.

Queensland detectives are investigating the possibility she was pushed over the 65ft bridge as her attacker attempted to rape her. They have, however, not discounted the possibility she might have jumped to escape the attacker.

Ms Stuttle lay screaming on the riverbank under the bridge - notorious locally for robberies and violence - for some time but when police arrived she was dead, her mobile phone and handbag missing.

Shortly before the attack yesterday, the teenager, telephoned a friend in Britain to say she was well and having a wonderful time. She had only spoken to her mother Marjorie back home in York a few days earlier.

Police said she walked from a nearby caravan park across the Burnett Bridge to a post office in the town centre to phone her friend. After the call, at about 9.15pm local time, she contacted her travelling companion, Sarah Holiday 19, on her mobile phone to say she on her way back to the caravan park.

At 9.32pm, police received an anonymous call from a woman motorist reporting screams coming from the bridge. Ms Stuttle's body was finally found at 11.50pm.

Her distraught friend told police Ms Stuttle was carrying a grey bag and a mobile phone when she was last seen but a search failed to find either.

Detective Inspector Jeff Oliphant, leading the murder hunt, said Ms Stuttle was small and it was thought she was robbed and thrown from the bridge. He said her flip-flops were found on the ground on the opposite side of the bridge to where the body was.

He appealed to the woman who reported hearing screams to come forward, along with other motorists who may have witnessed the attack.

Ms Stuttle set off in February on a round the world trip before beginning a psychology degree at Manchester University.

She and Miss Holiday arrived in Bundaberg on Sunday for the citrus and tomatop i cking season where backpackers earn money to finance travels. …

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