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Nolan bone to bring peace to family

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Anna Hitchings

A bone belonging to murdered woman Lateesha Nolan, who was killed by her psychopathic cousin Malcolm Naden nearly 12 years ago, has been found metres from the search site he had pointed out to police.

The 24-year-old was murdered in January 2005 in Dubbo at the hands of Naden. He strangled her in her car after becoming angry during an argument, then dismembered her body and buried it beside the Macquarie River.

He then went on the run for seven years before being captured in 2012 after one of the state's biggest manhunts.

After his arrest Naden pleaded guilty to Ms Nolan's murder and led officers to the site in 2012 where excavations were carried out but her remains were not found.

The thigh bone was found by a member of the public on the banks of the Macquarie River south of Dubbo in November, with police on Tuesday confirming it belonged to the mother of four.

Her parents Mick and Joan were "understandably shocked but pleased" by the news police said.

Ms Nolan's father Mick Peet, who now lives in Queensland, will fly to Dubbo to visit the spot where the bone was found.

"This is a start. That is what I am hoping for," he told Dubbo's The Daily Liberal newspaper.

"We always wondered if he was telling the truth about where he buried her. I guess he was," Mr Peet said.

"I have been blown away by what has happened in the last couple of days."

Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said the terrain had changed a lot over the years, especially after several floods since 2005, with the bone found just outside the original search site.

He confirmed Naden's version of events was consistent with where the bone was uncovered.

"We are doing all we can to find further remains and, again, to provide answers for Lateesha's family," Det Supt Willing said.

Homicide squad detectives are now searching the riverbank near Butlers Falls with the operation expected to take several days.

"For more than a decade, investigators who have been working on this case have been following every line of inquiry in an effort to provide Lateesha Nolan's family with answers. And we hope, we finally hope, that we will be able to allow them to say goodbye respectfully to their daughter."

Mother Joan Nolan says the discovery has brought "some sort of closure" to the family.

"It's something and we're really happy; sad but happy that at least she's been found," she told the Nine Network.

Mr Peet says he's still in shock about the recent news.

"I knew this day would happen one day ... it's a bit of a shock. ," he told ABC radio.

Naden said he killed Ms Nolan after becoming enraged when she brought up allegations that he had indecently assaulted a 12-year-old six months earlier.

Yet after his arrest, the murderer wrote from his cell there was "no real reason" why he killed Ms Nolan, adding: "if it wasn't her, it would have been someone else".

In sentencing Naden to life in prison in 2013, judge Justice Price said he had psychopathic tendencies, suffered a personality disorder and was at high-risk of committing violent offences in the future.

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