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Police digging at Bowen tip in missing teen search

05 Juillet 2017

Heavy machinery has been brought in to help police trawl through a north Queensland dump as part of investigations into the disappearance of school girl Rachel Antonio nearly 20 years ago.

Ten officers, including forensic officers from Brisbane, will be part of the one-day exploratory dig.

SCIENTIFIC exploration work is under way at the Bowen tip in a bid to find new information on the disappearance and suspected homicide of Rachel Antonio nearly two decades ago.

Det Insp Colfs said the decision to excavate the site was based on maps of the tip that had been provided by someone who used to work there, not new information about the possible location of Ms Antonio's remains.

'It would be great if we could find her, give her a funeral, put her to rest, ' she said.

Detective Inspector Colfs couldn't say whether there would be further digs, but said by the end of today police would have an idea of what the scientific exploration has produced.

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The teenager was last seen walking along Queens Beach Esplanade, Bowen, wearing a short sleeved collarless T-shirt with horizontal blue and white stripes, a green skirt above the knee with large brass buttons down the front and black dress sandals.

Det Insp Colfs said the examination was not a final bid to find Rachel Antonio, who was last seen on April 25, 1998.

"It's been a long time and we're glad they are starting because we have been waiting for quite a while for them to search the tip. we are glad they are making a start on it", Mrs Antonio said yesterday.

A $250,000 reward still stands for any information which leads to the recovery of her remains, but her parents have accepted that their daughter's remains may never be found.

"The Queensland Police Service are committed to actually finding the remains of Rachel Antonio and we certainly will continue to seek information from the public if they have any knowledge or information that could assist police", she said.

Police digging at Bowen tip in missing teen search