Man charged with serious offences in Meningie

Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins from the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch addresses the media at a press conference on Friday, February 10.
Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins from the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch addresses the media at a press conference on Friday, February 10.

A 52-year-old man has been arrested at Meningie and charged with three counts of rape and one count of unlawful detention.

The arrest follows an investigation by detectives from the Special Crime Investigation Branch (CIB) and local Murray Mallee CIB.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was arrested at about 12.30pm on Saturday, February 11.

He was then taken from a Meningie property to the Murray Bridge Police Station where he was interviewed and then charged.

He was due to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday via video link from Murray Bridge. 

The arrest followed the search for a 24-year-old female – who cannot be named for legal reasons - in the Murraylands who was allegedly missing from about 10.30am on Thursday morning, February 9 when she was last seen getting off a bus in South Terrace, Murray Bridge.

On Friday, February 10, alarm bells were raised when police were contacted by the woman’s family with concern for her safety.

South Australian Police announced they feared the woman was being held against her will and continued with an extensive search, appealing to the public for any information of her whereabouts.

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins from the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch said police believed the tourist posted an online ad looking for work.

Police believe the alleged offender responded to the ad and took the tourist to Meningie where she was allegedly held against her will.

Shortly after the press conference at about 6pm, police announced the woman at the centre of the search was found alone “safe” in Murray Bridge.

Detective Hutchins said the woman appeared physically unharmed and her family was informed that she was safe. Police thanked members of the public for providing assistance in the matter.