Widow erects road signs at Palmerville Station in bid to find murdered husband’s remains

Cairns 4870

A widow still searching for the remains of her husband, murdered on a remote cattle station in far north Queensland, has launched a new campaign in a bid to bury him.

Key points:

  • Gold prospector Bruce Schuler was murdered on a remote cattle station in 2012
  • His body has never been found, although the station’s owners have been jailed for life
  • Schuler’s wife and daughter campaigned for the introduction of ‘no body, no parole’ laws in Queensland

Huge road signs calling for information about the whereabouts of 48-year-old Bruce Schuler have been erected on dirt roads leading into Palmerville Station, west of Cairns, where he was murdered while gold prospecting in July 2012.

His wife, Fiona Splitt, along with her son Bruce Jnr and Schuler’s sister Tracey Holland put up the four signs over the weekend after getting permission from the police, Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the Cook Shire Council.

It would have been Schuler’s 56th birthday on Sunday.

“Hopefully someone will come forward with some real information,” his widow said.

The signs feature a photograph of Schuler wearing the clothes he was last seen in, along with his gold prospecting equipment.

Mystery still surrounds gold prospector’s murder

Schuler, a retired builder, had been gold prospecting in a dry gully on Palmerville Station with three friends when he disappeared.


Bruce Schuler had been prospecting in the vicinity of the Palmer River near Palmerville Station. (Supplied: Qld Police)

In July 2015 at the Supreme Court in Cairns, the station’s owners, Stephen Struber and Dianne Wilson-Struber, were found guilty of his murder and with interfering with a corpse.

It was a murder case without a body or any direct forensic evidence linking the couple to Schuler’s death.

The trial heard police found drops of Schuler’s blood, burnt patches of grass, and tyre marks matching the Strubers’ car in a gully about two kilometres from the homestead.

The Crown’s case rested on the evidence of Schuler’s fellow prospectors who reported hearing two gunshots several minutes apart after a vehicle matching the Struber’s pulled up in the area where they were searching for gold.

The prospectors were on the Struber’s land without permission, and one of them had been confronted by Stephen Struber about a week prior and was told him to get off his land.

No body, no parole

Ms Splitt and her daughter Lisa Schuler successfully campaigned for the introduction of “no body, no parole laws” in Queensland.

Under the laws, Stephen Struber and Dianne Wilson-Struber will serve out their life sentences in jail unless they reveal where Schuler’s body is.

However, the pair have always denied they murdered the man.

Mystery sparks book

Veteran Queensland investigative journalist Robert Reid, who lives in far north Queensland, has spent more than two years trying to work out where Bruce Schuler’s body might be.

He has written a book, Murder on the River of Gold, and spoke with Wilson-Struber — who grew up on Palmerville Station — at the Townsville Women’s Correctional Centre.

“She knew I was writing a book and I asked her if she would talk to me in the interest of fairness and about her childhood on that station,” Reid said.

“I was officially able to visit her in prison and I asked her what did she did with the body.

“She told me ‘I wasn’t there, Robert’. [And] I said ‘you keep saying that you didn’t do it, but if you did do it, you’re a bloody good liar’.”

Reid said he shared the views of police that the Strubers removed Schuler’s body and disposed of it somewhere away from Palmerville Station.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news