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NSW: Bones on balcony investigation moves to Germany

16 Dec 2008 11:42 AM

SYDNEY, Dec 16 AAP - The discovery of a bag of human bones on a balcony has raised suspicions an elderly man killed his wife and kept her remains hidden for up to eight years.

Contract cleaners made the gruesome find on Saturday while working at the apartment Werner Sextro had shared with his wife Elizabeth in Ashfield, in Sydney.

According to NSW police, Mr Sextro had been telling neighbours since 2000 that his wife had returned to Germany to look after a sick relative.

But the discovery of the bones raised suspicions he may have killed his wife.

Mr Sextro was 78 when he died of leukaemia in September, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.

Detective Inspector Tim Calman told AAP police had yet to formally identify the remains but were now trying to locate Mrs Sextro's relatives in Germany.

A positive identification could take a couple of weeks, he added.

"There are no living relatives in this country - any links to the family are back in Germany," Insp Calman said.

"Investigations are sort of going down that path at the moment to try and identify someone we might be able to do a DNA analysis with.

"I guess we might have an idea (who the remains belong to). Until we positively identify that person it's the line of our inquiry until we can prove otherwise."

Insp Calman said neighbours had not seen Mrs Sextro for eight years.

"Last time that she was seen positively by neighbours was back in the year 2000, at which time Mr Sextro was saying that she returned to Germany to look after a sick relative," he said.

None had any suspicions about Mrs Sextro's disappearance, he said.

"They were all under the impression she had gone back to Germany."