WA Woman arrested and charged last night for Launceston murder

Police last night arrested and charged a 46-year-old woman in Bunbury, Western Australian on suspicion of the murder of a 71-year-old Launceston woman she had been living with.

The body of 71-year-old woman, Veronica Corstorphine, was discovered by police at her address in Keane St, South Launceston on 29 October, with the murder now believed to have taken place on or about 3 October.

While police treat all unexplained deaths as suspicious, investigative work over the last week led police to the suspicion of murder.

Launceston Police attended the Keane St address on 29 October after her friend – who had not seen her for a month – lodged a concern for welfare.

Attending police located Ms Corstorphine’s body on a bed and initial inquiries began into how and when she died.

The investigation was affected by the significant length of time that had passed between her death and the discovery of her body.

For investigative reasons we cannot confirm her likely cause of death at this stage, but we can confirm that no weapon was used.

Officers from the Western Australia Police Force arrested her on behalf of Tasmania Police at a hotel in Bunbury last night.

The 46-year-old woman had returned to Western Australia on October 5 after she had been living for two months at the Keane St address with Ms Corstorphine.

A team of four Launceston detectives is leaving this afternoon to travel to Western Australia to apply for an extradition order and facilitate the extradition of the 46-year-old woman to Launceston. The extradition is likely to be early next week.

Detective Inspector Kim Steven said:

“We treat all deaths as suspicious until we know otherwise and we have been working over the last week to establish exactly what took place – those investigations have led us to the suspicion of murder.

“The significant length of time between her death and her body being discovered was obviously a complicating factor.

“While we have charged someone, we are still in the early stages of gathering evidence and interviews and so we can’t confirm publicly at this stage how she died.

“While her body had been significantly affected by the length of time it had been in place, we can say that there was no obvious sign of injury and no weapon involved”