Human remains found in Katoomba dam identified as missing Newcastle woman Cecilia Devine

The brothers of a missing Newcastle woman whose remains were found in Katoomba in March have called on the public to help solve the mystery surrounding her death.

Nathan Pearson told a press conference today [May 15]: "We're putting our hands out there to anyone who may know something or have information to fill in the pieces from the time that she was noticed being missing."

Joined by his brother Troy, he described his sister as "very much family based". "We wouldn't see a harmful bone in her body."

Police announced today that the human remains discovered in a Katoomba dam have been identified as the missing woman, Cecilia Devine.

The 42-year-old woman had been missing for almost eight months. She was last seen leaving a home on Turton Road, Waratah, on September 5. Police had renewed their appeal for information in December last year when information came to light that Devine, previously known as Kristen Pearson, had possibly travelled to Hornsby and the Blue Mountains.

Human skeletal remains were discovered on March 18 in bush at North Katoomba.

At the time Blue Mountains Police Detective Inspector Scott McAlpine said employees of the Sydney Water Catchment Authority had found the body near the catchment area.

He said the remains had been there for quite some time.

The body has since been identified as Ms Devine's and police have escalated their investigation treating the discovery as a homicide.

Detectives from Blue Mountains Police Area Command, with the assistance of the homicide squad, are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death under Strike Force Eking.

As part of their inquiries, strike force investigators have released CCTV footage of Ms Devine, wearing a bright yellow cardigan, black pants and carrying an orange handbag, walking from a hotel in Katoomba Street, Katoomba, on Thursday September 6, 2018.

Cecilia Devine, 2017. Source: Facebook, Cecilia Devine

Det Insp McAlpine, said investigators were trying to piece together her last movements.

At the press conference, he said Ms Devine had shopped at the Rivers store in Katoomba and Coles supermarket on September 6, 2018.

"One of the last known sightings of Cecilia Devine was her leaving this hotel and walking down one of the main streets of Katoomba," Det Insp McAlpine said.

"We believe there are people out there who spoke with Cecilia or saw her at the time and we urge them to come forward.

"We're all wanting the same outcome - to find answers for Cecilia's loved ones. They need to know what happened to her and how she came to be where she was."

Cecilia Devine was a talented musician. In a video she created in 2017 before the release of her debut solo album Liberty, she talks about writing poetry at age 12.Twelve years later she added melody to her poetry.

She also mentions a "run in with mental illness" in New York City in 2013. "Thankfully I had a good network of people to get me back safely," she says. Afterwards she made a promise to herself to write an album that told her story "and the brutality I had experienced."

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

  • Full police media release:

Detectives investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Cecilia Devine in the Blue Mountains have released CCTV vision in an appeal for public assistance.

About 12pm on Monday March 18, 2019, staff at a water treatment facility in Katoomba located human remains in the nearby Upper Cascade Creek dam.

The remains underwent extensive forensic testing, where they were confirmed to be Cecilia Devine, aged 42. She had been reported missing from Waratah on Wednesday 5 September 2018.

Detectives from Blue Mountains Police Area Command, with the assistance of the Homicide Squad, are investigating the circumstances surrounding Ms Devine's death under Strike Force Eking.

As part of their inquiries, strike force investigators have released CCTV footage of Ms Devine, wearing a bright yellow cardigan, black pants and carrying an orange handbag, walking from a hotel in Katoomba Street, Katoomba, on Thursday 6 September 2018.

Blue Mountains Police Area Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Scott McAlpine, said investigators were trying to piece together her last movements.

"One of the last known sightings of Cecilia Devine was her leaving this hotel and walking down one of the main streets of Katoomba," Det Insp McAlpine said.

"We believe there are people out there who spoke with Cecilia or saw her at the time and we urge them to come forward.

"We're all wanting the same outcome - to find answers for Cecilia's loved ones. They need to know what happened to her and how she came to be where she was."

Anyone with information about that may assist Strike Force Eking investigations is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.