Killer 'fooled' people into thinking mum dead for 8 months was alive

Elias Hubbard
March 13, 2018

Homicide Squad boss Detective Inspector Tim Day wouldn't draw on speculation that someone pretended to be Ms Gatt after her death, but said a number of "stories" about her were being circulated.

The body of 40-year-old Sarah Gatt was discovered in a Kensington unit on January 3 this year, with police saying she died between April 20-24 2017.

Ms Gatt's family said they hadn't seen her in nearly 18 months before her unrecognisable body was found.

Mr Gatt said he lost contact with his daughter, who had always been battling a drug addiction, about 18 months ago. I should have pushed myself to go and see her, but Sarah is the type of person if she doesn't want to see you, she doesn't want to see you, " Mr Gatt said.

Forensic evidence indicates a violent assault took place and investigators believe efforts were made to hide the mother of four's fate and fool people into thinking she was still alive.

"There are certain things I need to keep to myself, but I can say and reaffirm that police believe that both the death itself was covered up and that there was an implication that she was still alive after April 20 a year ago", Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Tim Day said on Tuesday.

"There's certain evidence at the crime scene to suggest that attempts were made to hide the fact that Sarah's body was there in the apartment", he said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make an anonymous report online.

None of Ms Gatt's four children were living with her when she died.

"She didn't want to see me anymore", he said on Tuesday.

Sarah, pictured here as a teenager, had aspired to be a model when she was younger. "Whatever I said, she just didn't want to do it".

"She was pretty close to getting some modelling with Kmart, but something happened and it didn't happen".

"She always wanted to do something in her life. She was good at school too".

Inspector Day also urged anyone who had spoken to people who had acted as if Sarah was still alive after that date, to come forward.

Her body was discovered by chance when police smelled a bad odour while visiting the street for an unrelated matter on January 3.

"She had a lot of big dreams like that which to be honest, I knew would never really happen, but she had good intentions", she said.

Sarah was not reported missing to police at any time.

Police questioned five "persons of interest" in January but have not laid any charges.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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