The fate of missing Aussie teen Cayleb Hough (below) is now known: He was murdered and his body dumped in a swamp outside the city of Melbourne.
A botany student exploring the Bacchus Marsh in Lerderderg State Park on March 10th stumbled upon human remains stashed in a "shallow mineshaft."
It took some time for Australian officials to confirm the badly decomposed corpse was indeed that of missing 17-year-old Cayleb Hough and that his cause of death was "homicide."
Investigators also believe, from evidence collected at the crime scene and during autopsy, that the slain young man "knew his killer."
A medical examiner determined that Hough died shortly after his unexplained disappearance a few days before Christmas 2015.
“There is no way that this was an accident,” a law enforcement spokesman told reporters this week. "Cayleb Hough was murdered."
Hough was last seen alive on December 20th leaving for a party in the passenger seat of a 2003 Ford Falson XR6 with registration number SOG-812.
The blue sedan was later found abandoned in a car-park at Crown Casino in mid January 2016, but there was still no sign of the missing teenager or clues to his whereabouts.
The owner/s of the vehicle -- and other unnamed parties -- were questioned at the time and have since been labeled Persons of Interest in the newly-launched murder probe.
However, authorities made it clear in this week's press conference that, so far, they have "no suspects" for the "obvious" violent crime that befell Cayleb Hough this past winter.
The young man is described as "just a normal 17-year-old" who could've been "anybody's son." So his slaying, and a possible motive for it, has detectives and family members truly stumped now.
A lead homicide detective on the case is appealing for the public's help in solving it.
He said “Cayleb’s family deserve some answers," and police are "particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the Lerderderg State Park since December 20th last year. ”
Tips concerning this ongoing investigation should be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-333-000.