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On the evening of the 2nd of December 2010, 24 year old Phoebe Handsjuk was found dead on the floor of the refuse compactor room at the bottom of ‘Balencea’, a luxury high rise apartment building, located on St Kilda Road Melbourne. It was discovered that she had fallen feet first from the 12th floor refuse room, down the waste disposal shaft to the compactor below. The Toxicology report revealed Phoebe to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.16% and high levels of prescription drugs.
There have been no known reported incidents of a cause of death such as this, in the history of Australia.
On the 7th of December, Homicide detectives said that no second party was involved in Phoebe’s death; she had entered the chute, feet first, voluntarily.
The police brief was passed to Detective Senior Constable Brendan Payne of the South Melbourne Criminal Investigation Unit to be completed for the Coroner.
Phoebe’s Grandfather, retired Detective Sergeant Lorne Campbell had suspicions regarding the circumstances surrounding her death from the outset. He began to ask questions of the police and to make his own enquiries.
Senior Detective Brendan Payne and Lorne Campbell have worked for over two years, in an attempt to unravel the unexplained mysteries surrounding her violent and tragic death.
We, the family, have requested that there be an open Coronial Inquest into Phoebe’s death, where witnesses can be cross examined, in the hope of finding answers to the many questions still remaining.
The Brief is now with Coroner Peter White of the Coroners Court of Victoria. We await his decision whether to hold an Inquest.
You may view the history of media coverage on the Press page.