Human remains found at beach
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
THE skeletal remains of a human body were discovered by a fisherman at Airforce Beach in Evans Head yesterday morning.
Richmond police duty officer Inspector David Driver said the remains were found on a sand dune close to a walking track at approximately 9am.
He said police had not ruled out the possibility of the body being that of 80-year-old James Errol Lane, of Evans Head, who went missing last June.
Mr Lane suffered from Alzheimer's disease and had failed to return home from a morning walk.
"We haven't ruled that possibility out, but we can't positively identify the body until tests are conducted," Insp Driver said.
"We also won't know the cause of death until tests are carried out, but it is not being treated as suspicious."
The remains were gathered by forensic officers and taken to the Lismore Base Hospital morgue.
They will be sent to Sydney for forensic testing today, which Insp Driver said could take up to a week.
He also said he was unwilling to comment on what personal affects were found with the remains.
"It appeared the body had been there for some time," he said.
"It was out in the open."
The family of Mr Lane could not be contacted last night.
after extensive investigations by police, State Emergency Service personnel and Mr Lane's friends and family.
The search included thorough walks through bushland around Airforce Beach and an aerial survey of the area.
Detectives contacted bus companies to see if Mr Lane had left town, while his family members placed posters around Evans Head, Broadwater and Ballina.
Mr Lane's grandson had also travelled to Evans Head from Beerwah in Queensland with a dirt bike to aid in the search.
Mr Lane was last seen near the Evans Head shopping village about 1pm on June 12, 2004.