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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Timeline: The death of Peter Falconio
The couple were backpacking around the world
The killing of British backpacker Peter Falconio has become one of Australia's most notorious unresolved crimes. But the 28-year-old's body has never been found. BBC News Online traces the story from adventure in the outback to high-profile court case in Darwin.

January 2001 - Peter Falconio, 28, and his 27-year old girlfriend, Joanne Lees, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, arrive in Australia during a round-the-world trip.

14 July 2001 - The couple are ambushed as they drive their camper van along a desert highway in northern Australia.

Miss Lees tells police she heard a shot after Mr Falconio went to the back of the van, and she was bound, gagged and bundled into a pick-up before escaping.

16 July 2001 - Police find blood near the scene of the ambush and say they believe he was shot.

17 July 2001 - Detectives turn to Aboriginal trackers to help them scour the vast Australian outback to search for Mr Falconio or the couple's attacker.

18 July 2001 - Miss Lees revisits the scene to help with a police reconstruction aimed at jogging her memory about events.

She tells the media she feels lucky to have survived after escaping.

20 July 2001 -As police sift through several potential leads Miss Lees pleads for the public to help police.

24 July 2001 - Detectives reveal they have ruled out a 35-year-old suspect arrested two days after the ambush and have lifted the roadblock that was set up at the time. They fear the killer would have had time to have escaped before it was put in place.

Australian outback
The attack happened on a remote highway

25 July 2001 - They dismiss speculation that Miss Lees is a suspect in their inquiry.

Miss Lees criticises parts of the press, saying: "It's only the media who have questioned my story."

26 July 2001 - The Northern Territory government offers an Aus $250,000 (90,000) reward for help in finding the attacker.

6 August 2001 - Police release CCTV footage of a man they believe is the suspect at a filling station in Alice Springs a few hours after the abduction.

21 September 2001 - More than two months after the ambush, police scale down their hunt.

21 February 2002 - Seven months into the fruitless hunt for the man who attacked the backpackers, police call in a new team to review the case.

14 June 2002 - Hopes of a long-awaited breakthrough are dashed when DNA samples from a suspect fail to match those of Mr Falconio's likely attacker.

9 July 2002 - The police review exonerates those involved in the investigation, although the killer is still at large.

21 August 2002 - Court papers reveal Miss Lees is seeking compensation for her ordeal.

30 August 2002 - Hopes of another breakthrough are raised after the arrest of a rape suspect 800 miles away.

8 October 2002 -Police get the go-ahead to test the suspect's DNA to see whether it matches that in blood found at the scene of the abduction.

10 November 2003 -The suspect, Bradley Murdoch, is arrested on suspicion of murder after being cleared of unrelated rape and kidnap charges elsewhere.

17 May 2004 - Committal hearing begins.


SEE ALSO:
Tracker resumes search for backpacker
24 Apr 03  |  West Yorkshire
A tale of backpacking terror
09 Oct 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Picture gallery: Outback attack
19 Jul 01  |  UK News


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