Cold Case: Woman's Ex-Boyfriend Charged After Body Found In Wheelie Bin
In March 2011 Valmai Jane Birch's body was found hidden inside a bin in a NSW unit, today detectives charged her ex-boyfriend over her death.
Officers found the 34-year-old's body hidden in the bathroom of a Woonona unit, north of Wollongong.
The grim discovery came after residents reported a foul smell coming from the property.
Investigators were unable to determine the cause of Birch's death, however it was treated as suspicious.
Now, more than eight years later, homicide detectives have arrested a 52-year-old man over the death.
The accused was arrested at a home in Kiama on the NSW south-coast and he was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station, where he was charged with manslaughter.
Police allege the accused had been in a relationship with Birch for just under one year. They further allege there had been a "volatile" history of domestic violence between the pair.
Detective Jason Dickinson said the pair had been estranged from each other but still in contact before Birch's death.
The arrest comes after a lengthy police investigation into the circumstances surrounding Birch's death.
Dickinson said investigators had faced some "challenges" gathering sufficient evidence, including the Birch's cause of death.
"Decomposition was a factor," he said.
"This investigation has gone on for years, and police have stuck with this one, and got a result that is pleasing for police and for the family."
Investigators also asked the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to review their brief of evidence, which prompted the man's arrest.
The accused has been refused bail and was expected to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday.