Professor Daryl Joyce has spoken out for the first time about the moment he discovered the body of Allison Baden-Clay.
Joyce, who was paddling his kayak along Kholo Creek, outside Brisbane, thought he had come across someone sleeping on the creek bank before releasing something more sinister was afoot.
“I saw a person lying on their side beneath the bridge. Initially, I thought it [was] someone sleeping on the creek bank. Then, I realised it [was] Allison based on her clothes. A mannequin dressed like Allison had been shown on TV,” he said in an interview with Whimn.com.au.
Alison’s body, still dressed in casual clothing, was found partly face down with a jumper looped around her neck.
“It was initially a shock,” Prof Joyce said of the discovery. “[It was] imperative to let the police know urgently. The search had been given a lot of press coverage. It was clear that the family were terribly distraught and needed to know ASAP.”
“I immediately kayaked to where I launch my kayak, drove home and rang the police.”
Allison’s badly decomposed body was found on the creek bank in Brisbane's west 10 days after she was reported missing by her husband Gerard Baden-Clay on April 20, 2012.
Mr Baden-Clay would be charged, and later convicted, of his wife’s murder.
LISTEN: Gerard reports his wife missing to the police. Post continues after the video...
Mr Joyce told the publication that he still thinks about the horrific discovery.
“I do think of the day and the people involved, particularly so when I am kayaking or driving by in the area,” he said.
“Allison was clearly much loved and people wanted and needed to know what had happened. Despite the terrible circumstances, I was pleased to have been able to contribute towards resolution of the search and path ways towards closure.”
Long-time friend and spokeswoman for the family, Kerry-Anne Walker, spoke of Allison’s legacy shortly after Gerard was found guilty of murdering his wife and mother of the couple’s three beautiful girls.
"Her legacy will be her beautiful three girls who, surrounded now by their memories of Allison and the love and support of Allison's devoted family, are thriving in their busy lives," she said.
"All who know them are confident they will go on to achieve great things."
"I am in awe every day of how well Allison's parents Geoff and Priscilla and her sister Vanessa deal with their day-to-day busy lives."
"The girls are certainly a tribute to them."