Son in custody after mother’s body found


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A man remains in custody after the body of his mother was found inside her car in a recently rented Brisbane garage.

Police called off the search for 61-year-old Wendy Sleeman on Thursday afternoon when they recovered her body from a blue Honda Jazz parked inside the garage at Windsor, in the city’s inner-north.

They were quizzing neighbours at the apartment unit on Friday, after the grisly discovery.

Ms Sleeman’s son, 30-year-old Slade Murdok, was earlier refused bail on a string of domestic violence-related charges, including kidnapping, assault, stalking and attempted arson.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll on Friday described the incident as “absolutely tragic and unacceptable”.

“We were hoping it would not come to that, but sadly it has,” she said.

wendy sleeman
Ms Sleeman had feared for her safety for some time, a court was told. Photo: Facebook

Ms Sleeman is being remembered as a beloved Gold Coast teacher, mother, friend and dog lover.

She had bred dogs for nearly three decades, and members of the Labrador Retriever Club of Queensland spoke of their grief on Friday.

“She was a lovely person and well-liked in the labrador land and it’s just so sad,” club treasurer Cath Wardle said.

“I want to do something for her, I’m sure all the others will too.”

A GoFundMe page aims to raise money for a memorial bench in Ms Sleeman’s honour at the off-leash dog park at Tallebudgera.

She had been missing since Tuesday, shortly after she contacted police to notify them of a disturbance at her Elanora home.

Officers were unable to intercept the Jazz, which was seen leaving the property at speed.

Ms Sleeman feared for her own safety and believed Mr Murdok might try to kill her as recently as January 23, a Brisbane court heard.

A crime scene was declared at her home after a pool of blood and drag marks were found on the floor.

Mr Murdok had allegedly earlier gone to the school where his mother worked and police say the evidence pointed to the events at Ms Sleeman’s home being planned.

Police said there had been several verified sightings of the Jazz on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane before it was recovered from the garage, which investigators said had been recently rented.

wendy sleeman
Ms Sleeman’s son was arrested earlier in the week. Photos: Queensland Police

There appears to be no relationship between Mr Murdok and the garage owner. Residents of the apartment complex were in shock on Friday.

“It’s confronting. It’s surreal, I guess,” one told the ABC.

“I didn’t even have any idea: I had police knock on my door. I assumed it was a stolen vehicle. I had a friend call me hours later saying ‘I saw your apartment on the news’, oh, my God.”

Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said the garage owner was “quite shocked”.

“It is not something that you expect,” he said.

“We are still very keen to hear from people who have seen [the car], because we want to track [its] movements right across the south-east.”

Detective Superintendent Smith said the recovery of the body was a devastating outcome for Ms Sleeman’s loved ones.

He said specialist officers and pathologists remained on the scene at Windsor on Friday.

“It is too early to say what the injuries are or the extent of injuries,” he said.

During a failed bail application on Thursday, Mr Murdok’s lawyer Rodney Keyte argued the case against his client was weak and questioned what evidence tied his client to the scene.

Mr Murdok is due to return to court on February 14.

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-with AAP

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