Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Useless police again

The neighbour of a woman bashed to death in her Adelaide Hills home by a mystery intruder believes she called the police for help 16 hours before her body was found.

Retired nurse Pirjo Kemppainen moved from Finland 15 years ago for a quiet life in the village of Callington, near Mt Barker near Adelaide. Now she is dead, the victim of an apparently motiveless murder that has shocked the community.

Her killer or killers remained on the loose last night, and police and State Emergency Service volunteers will today continue scouring the area for clues. It is not known if a weapon was used in the murder.

A neighbour told The Advertiser he believed 63-year-old Ms Kemppainen, a retired nurse who lived alone, had called police at about 12.30am Saturday after hearing noises in her yard. Her battered body was found by her brother at 5pm.

When asked if the murder victim had made a call for help, Major Crime Detective Acting Superintendent Denise Gray said she would not comment.

Forensic investigators yesterday removed a ramp leading to Ms Kemppainen's back door, which had been smashed above the handle. Investigators paid particular attention to a section of wire fence at the front of her property, which was damaged and bent. The fence runs adjacent to a public walkway that follows the Bremer River and is frequently used as a shortcut for locals walking home from the Dog 'n' Ute Callington Hotel.

Distraught relatives told The Advertiser Ms Kemppainen was a defenceless woman who could have lain injured for hours before dying. "We found out late this morning that she'd been brutally bashed by somebody," relative Kylie Kemppainen said. "I don't know how long she was left there, whether they bashed her to death or whether they just left her to die on her own."


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