Bones found at Queensland swimming spot identified as missing tourist

Mossman Gorge human bones may be those of Melbourne dental assistant who went missing eight months ago

  • Bones found at Mossman Gorge, Queensland
  • DNA test to see if they are from Melbourne woman Vinh Chuong 
  • Ms Chuong, 54, swept away by water in January 

Police are testing human remains found at a swimming hole in far north Queensland with the belief they may belong to a Melbourne dental professional who went missing eight months ago.  

Melbourne dental assistant Vinh Chuong has now been identified as the woman reported missing after she was swept away by fast flowing water in the Mossman River on January 6

A search and rescue operation was launched after the 54-year-old was taken downstream and disappeared underwater during bad weather. 

Police divers and the SES searched for six days before the investigation was scaled back and became a recovery mission as it was presumed Ms Chuong had drowned. 

Eight months later, a tourist made a grim discovery after finding a human tibia on the riverbed at Mossman Gorge, 20km north from Port Douglas, on August 22. 

Police divers and the SES searched for 54-year-old Vinh Chuong after she went missing at Mossman river in January (pictured)

Police searched the waters after human remains were found eight months after Ms Chuong went missing (pictured). Forensic testing will confirm whether the bones belong to the missing tourist

Divers conducted a new search of the area on August 28 to 29 and recovered more bones. 

Police are waiting for forensic testing to confirm whether the bones belong to Ms Chuong. 

Mossman Police Officer in Charge Sergeant Matthew Smith said the discovery was not surprising but added a new line of inquiry would be raised if the bones did not belong to Ms Chuong. 

‘We’re very hopeful that this may lead to some closure for her family but at this stage we have a fair bit of forensic DNA testing to be conducted to confirm that,’ Sergeant Smith said. 

‘We have sort of been expecting this, her being underwater wedged under a rock,’ he told the Cairns Post. ‘If it’s not her it’s going to open a can of worms.’ 

Ms Chuong is understood to be the first person to have died at Mossman Gorge since 2014. 

Mossman Gorge is a river in Daintree National Park, north Queensland, and is a popular swimming spot among locals and tourists (pictured)

A coronial inquest on February 15, 2014, examined the circumstances surrounding the death of Taiwanese tourist Che-Wei Su. 

The 28-year-old, who was a strong swimmer and had completed military training, was visiting the gorge with his girlfriend and three friends at the time when he was swept downstream by strong currents and hit his head on boulders. 

The inquest recommended a wide-ranging review to probe safety issues at the popular swimming spot.

Mossman Gorge, in the state’s Daintree National Park, will remain open to the public.


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