After six days of searching, Jill Meagher’s body was found in a shallow grave down a dirt track on the outskirts of Melbourne City. The 29-year-old from Drogheda, County Louth, was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Adrian Ernest Bayley (41).

Meagher had gone missing in the early hours of Saturday morning. She had been walking less than half a mile home when she was abducted. After studying CCTV footage and reaching out to witnesses, the Victoria homicide police squad tracked down Bayley and arrested him on Friday. He has been charged with Meagher’s rape and murder.

The Drogheda native’s family earlier this week described how they were living a “nightmare.” In a statement released to the media, the family said,

“We are devastated. We are heartbroken. She was the first grandchild my mother had and her aunts, uncles and cousins are powerless to describe their loss.

“There are no words to describe how we feel at what has happened. We had hope yesterday when there was no evidence of foul play but when the man in the CCTV footage was arrested we feared the worst.

“We acknowledge the role that social media has played in the search for her. We believe that it has helped us to reach a conclusion although it is not the one we had hoped and prayed for.

“We thank the people around the World who have supported us.

“Both the McKeon family and Meagher family will have to plan now to grieve for Jillian and this is going to be one of the hardest things given that only 3 years ago we came together for the marriage of this lovely couple.”

Meagher’s body was found in a shallow grave to the north-west of Melbourne, in Gisborne South, reports the Age. The area was surrounded by paddocks and was a 45-minute drive from where Meagher was last seen on the CCTV footage of a bridal store, on Sydney Road, in Brunswick.

Tom Meagher, husband of Jill Meagher, outside court. Jill's brother Michael McKeon is on the left.Alex Coppel Source: Herald Sun