News

Fisherman's chilling find at the bottom of Borumba Dam

A sonar scan showing the car under 10 metres of water at Borumba Dam.
A sonar scan showing the car under 10 metres of water at Borumba Dam.

FISHERMAN Terry Allwood had shivers when he learned he had inadvertently done what police had been attempting for more than a decade.

A glimpse at the screen of his electronic depth sounder when idling away from the shore at Borumba Dam has led to a major breakthrough in a 13-year missing person case.

Mr Allwood, of Wondai, was competing in the Basstasstic fishing tournament on March 25 when he made the find.

He was heading out for an afternoon session of competition and had only idled a short distance from shore.

"I saw the shape of it on the panel and went 'sh**, that's a car'," Mr Allwood said.

He immediately marked the position on his GPS and then circled round, using his Lowrance HDS-10 Gen 2 fishfinder to capture different angles of it.

 

Terry Allwood (right) and his father Paul show their catches at Borumba Dam the day after Terry found a submerged car with his electronic depth sounder.
Terry Allwood (right) and his father Paul show their catches at Borumba Dam the day after Terry found a submerged car with his electronic depth sounder. Contributed

Other competitors joined in, with some able to see it and others not.

"I thought 'someone has knocked a car off and just dumped it'," Mr Allwood said.

His wife reported the find to police that evening and an officer came out to the dam to meet them the next day.

The car was about 30m from shore, about 10m below the surface.

Mr Allwood said he wasn't too worried about the find until he got a call from police on Thursday afternoon saying the find was linked to a missing person case.

Police divers and Clayton's Towing had retrieved the same red VL Holden Commodore in which missing person Stuart Gatehouse had last been seen.

There were skeletal remains inside.

"When the guy on the phone said there was a missing person from 2004, I just had goosebumps."

 

Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the remains found.

"I probably would have rather not known," Mr Allwood said.

"It's a really crazy feeling.

"I feel happy the family of old mate can get some closure."

Sunshine Coast Crime Group officer Detective Inspector Dave Drinnen said the State Coroner handed down findings in 2012 that Mr Gatehouse was dead, but had no details on where, when or how his death had occurred.

Mr Gatehouse, from Tasmania, had been living in Kenilworth and was heading north to see a family member when he disappeared.

"His father, who was in Tasmania, he reported him as a missing person, obviously concerned for him that he didn't show up when he was going to visit his brother," Det Insp Drinnen said.

Mr Gatehouse would have turned 58 on Thursday.

"There were no leads back then that someone was responsible for the death of Mr Gatehouse," Det Insp Drinnen said.

"However... we will review the investigation report (and) have a look at that with the new information we now have."

Det Insp Drinnen said police were also hopeful of providing some closure to Mr Gatehouse's family.

"It's something that the family has had to live with for an extremely long period of time."

He said results of forensic examinations being conducted on skeletal remains in the car would need to be finalised before they could confirm whether or not they had found the man missing for 13 years.

He would neither confirm nor deny reports a gun was also retrieved from Mr Gatehouse's car.

"At this stage it is far too early in the investigation to be making any speculation as to who the deceased person that was located in that vehicle," Det Insp Drinnen said.

Anyone with information which they believe could be relevant to the investigation is urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  borumba dam death editors picks fishing investigation kenilworth missing person police sunshine coast

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Husband and wife team take top khanacross spots

RALLY CHAMPS: Outright winner Tim Hall with close runner-up and wife Kym Hall.

Whitsunday Sporting Car Club held its Twilight and Gravel Khanacross

Prossie star is kicking goals

Kaylem Douthwaite (second from right)  with his North Queensland team mates in Bundaberg at the Vic Jensen Carnival.

Prossie star is kicking goals.

Local Partners

Tycoon plans China-wide blitz if island plan gets go ahead

TYCOON William Han plans a China-wide billboard blitz promoting Queensland if he gets the green light to build a $583 million luxury complex with three resorts

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

How many triangles are in this picture?

The simple illustration has been shared thousands of times on Facebook after leaving viewers scratching their heads.

VIDEO: The 'Disco Boob' trend at Splendour

Rachael Millen, of Newcastle, sporting the fashionable chest peace of glitter at Splendour in the Grass 2017 near Byron Bay.

VIDEO: Festival organisers forced to clarify policy on nudity.

Bieber quit tour to set up his own church?

Justin Bieber on stage during his concert at ANZ Stadium in Homebush.

Bieber is calling it quits on the rest of his Purpose World Tour

Bachelor hopeful ‘didn’t realise how naked she was’

The Bachelor Australia‘s Leah

Her dress was certainly daring, but she wasn't aware by just how much

Phelps shredded over shark race fiasco

"Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark.

People are genuinely upset at the way the race was run

Film boss marvels at Sunshine State

FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in a scene from the movie Thor: Ragnarok. Supplied by Marvel.

Thor: Ragnarok success may mean more Marvel movies for Queensland.

ABC's Q&A: Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

Opposition Health Minister Catherine King on the Q & A panel, left, and right, Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.

But there was one thing the students weren't discussing.

TENANTS FROM HELL: See the mess left by evicted couple

DISGUSTING: Mess left by evicted tenants. Owner of the Mongogarie property Christine Beatty has been left at least $5000 out of pocket.

Couple were 'living large' while not paying their rent

How Gladstone's cheapest and most expensive homes stack up

SPECTACULAR: This home on Springs Road, Agnes Water, is selling in the mid-$2 million range.

With the market currently low, now is the time to invest.

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!