Western Australia police close in on murder suspect, arrest warrant issued

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Western Australia
Image: Moondyne.

Police in Western Australia revealed Monday they have reason to believe 59-year-old Francis John Wark was involved in the alleged murder of Hayley Marie Dodd. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest, and it is likely that he will be charged.

Witnesses had seen 17-year-old Hayley walking and hitchhiking in the Badgingarra area July 29, 1999 — the day she disappeared. She was believed to have been making her way to do some work at a family friend's home but concerns were raised when she never showed.

State Crime Commander Pryce Scanlan said that "forensic advances" led to the breakthrough during a review of the case.

"It will be alleged the man abducted Hayley as she was walking on North West Road, Badgingarra," he said.

"It is further alleged he murdered her and disposed of her body."

Police believe Wark, who is currently locked up in a Queensland prison for an un-related offence, was living in Badgingarra when Ms Dodd disappeared.

Relatives of Ms Dodd have been told about the anticipated arrest.

“I’m very pleased with the progress of the investigation but I’m also more pleased that it does provide a degree of comfort to the family,” said Commander Scanlan.

There are plans to have Wark prosecuted for the crime in a court in Western Australia. Ms Dodd's body has yet to be found.