MYSTERY: A forensic testing backlog is preventing parents of Rockhampton teenager David Pham from finding out what caused their son's death.
MYSTERY: A forensic testing backlog is preventing parents of Rockhampton teenager David Pham from finding out what caused their son's death.

Major delay in mysterious death case prevents family closure

OVER three months since the mysterious death of Rockhampton teenager David Pham, the forensic evidence to identify his cause of death still hasn't been tested.

A backlog of untested samples sitting in Brisbane laboratory currently stands in the way of Mr Pham's family getting timely closure as to what happened to their loved one.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said today: "please be advised that police are still waiting on the analysis results to come back, these results can take months pending on how busy John Tonge (the mortuary for Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services) is".

Throughout the investigation, police have remained tight-lipped on the progress of their investigation, which commenced when Mr Pham's body was discovered in the back seat of a white Subaru SUV on Brendonna Rd, Burua, south of Gladstone in early April.

READ: Mystery shrouds investigation into Rocky teen Pham's death

In mid-April, Gladstone Police's Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Andersen confirmed investigations revolving around the forensic testing of evidence gathered from the crime scene were continuing.

The community is also still waiting on the toxicology results from the tragic fatal crash on Lakes Creek Rd on March 30 involving the mother-of-12 Natasha Kissier-Auda and 37-year-old Gracemere man Colin Parson.

READ: What led to double fatality on Lakes Creek Rd?


Natasha Kissier-Auda was killed in a car crash in April.
was killed in a car crash in April. Kissier family

In July, Rockhampton Magistrates Court heard how test results for the alleged murder of Yeppoon's Shane O'Brien, 57, by Lyorde Francis Painter, 49, on February 22 were expected to become available in September - seven months later.

READ: Yeppoon murder case held up by forensic report delays


Shane O'Brien is not prepared to put up with the misuse of his information
Yeppoon's Shane O'Brien was allegedly murdered in February. Trish Bowman

LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki today accused Queensland's coronial system of being "in crisis under the Palaszczuk Labor Government".

"The growing backlog of coronial investigations is caused by excessive delays and a declining clearance rate," Mr Janetzki said.

"This is all Labor's doing - thanks to budget and staff cuts. The system is under enormous pressure and desperately needs additional resources.

"Families deserve timely answers about the death of a loved one and the opportunity to find closure."

He said the 2018/19 Auditor-General Report Delivering Forensic Services revealed forensic medical examinations have been problematic for some time. "Over the past five years, the median time to collect, transport, analyse, and report DNA results has increased by 39 per cent," Mr Janetzki said.

"It begs the question why staff numbers have been cut and why $1 million in funding has been axed at a time when demand is sky-rocketing.

"It's simply not good enough to have a service delivery which the Auditor-General considers to be inefficient and at times ineffective. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is failing victims and their families in Queensland."

The Morning Bulletin has contacted Queensland Police, Queensland Health, the Queensland Government for a response to Mr Janetzki's comments and how they intend to fixing the testing backlog issue.

Police continue to appeal for public assistance for help with their investigation in David Pham's death.

They are seeking motorists who have dash-cam footage of the Subaru with Queensland registration 164 XQK, or witnessed the vehicle travelling on the Bruce Highway or Brendonna Road on April 2 or 3.

If you have information contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day quoting QP1900663184.