A man and woman who allegedly moved the body of an Indigenous pedestrian after she was fatally struck by a car on a Northern Territory highway have been charged.
The 23-year-old man is accused of hitting the Aboriginal woman with his car on the Stuart Highway on Monday night on the outskirts of Darwin.
Part of her leg was discovered on the roadway in Coolalinga, 30km south of the city centre, the following morning, triggering a massive police investigation.
The woman’s body was found concealed in bushland 15km south of the collision site on Wednesday night after the man and a 50-year-old woman were arrested earlier in the day.
“Investigations are ongoing but at this stage we believe the body of the victim was removed from the scene by the driver and his accomplice after the collision,” Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Morrissey said on Friday.
“To fatally strike someone with your vehicle and then go to great lengths to cover it up is reprehensible behaviour.”
The man has been charged with hit and run, misconduct with regard to a corpse, attempt to pervert the course of justice, and destroying evidence.
The woman is accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroying evidence and misconduct with regards to a corpse.
Police have not released details of the victim’s identity or her age.
The man was arrested at a home in Palmerston near the accident site, while the woman was arrested at a property in the Darwin suburb of Winnellie.
The limb was spotted on Tuesday morning by a traveller who was driving on the highway linking Darwin to Alice Springs and Adelaide.
A forensic pathologist determined the victim was either a teenager or an adult.
It is understood the lower section of the leg had a foot attached.
The man and 50-year-old woman remain in custody and will appear in the NT Local Court in Darwin on Friday.
The deceased woman is the 11th pedestrian to die on NT roads in the past 18 months.
All were Indigenous and six involved hit and run incidents, according to NT police.