Task Force Coorong search Salt Creek

Those involved in today's search attend a morning briefing.
Those involved in today's search attend a morning briefing.

A LARGE-scale search of beach and sand dunes in the Coorong National Park at Salt Creek took place on Thursday as SAPOL continued to investigate the assault of two women in the area earlier this month.

Police from Task Force Coorong, assisted by State Emergency Service volunteers and officers from STAR Group and Mounted Operations were searching several square kilometres.

Inspector Trent Cox, the acting officer in charge of the SA Police Special Crimes Investigation Branch, which is managing the Task Force, said searchers were looking for anything that might be of interest or value to the investigators.

The Task Force is examining the wider circumstances of the 9 February incident along with the background of the man arrested by police.

A 59-year-old Adelaide man remains in custody after being arrested and charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and assault causing serious harm in connection with the incident. Police are not seeking any other suspects at this time.

Inspector Cox said one victim remains in hospital, but with the permission of doctors, travelled with police to Salt Creek on Tuesday to provide them with further information.

As a result of that assistance, police today are particularly keen to find a mobile phone which belonged to the second woman.

“Police are keen to locate that black Samsung phone which is in a black protective cover,” Inspector Cox said.

“Investigators ask that should any member of the public locate this phone they should immediately contact their local police station, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 so that the phone can be seized and analysed.

“The scene here is large and challenging to search, so this has meant police and volunteer searchers have returned several times to target particular locations.

“Police will follow every avenue in this inquiry, although at this stage we have no evidence of other offences.

“We wish to thank the public for their support – both to the victims in this matter who continue to be assisted by specialist victim support officers and in relation to calls to Crime Stoppers.

“Although the suppression orders limit the release of information about the accused in this matter, there have been 48 reports to Crime Stoppers at this time which are being assessed by Task Force Coorong.”