A BRIGHT pink road marking and pungent smell were the tell-tale signs of a mysterious death uncovered in a Gladstone storm water drain yesterday.
A body, its identity and gender still unknown, was beneath the road that thousands use for their commute every day.
The pink marking made in the middle of the road before midday signalled where the body lay beneath the asphalt.
Acting Detective Inspector Capricornia Division Luke Peachey said from the video footage, investigators estimated the body had been there for more than a week.
"We're working with the Missing Person Unit and local criminal investigation branch to discover the identity of this person," he said.
"While we have no leads yet, once we extract the body we should know more."
VIDEO UPDATE Thursday 2pm
Yesterday as drivers passed by, the only reminder of the chaos below were the plain-clothed police and council workers who spent all day at the scene, discussing what they should do next.
But the council workers and investigators remained steadfast as they hunted around for more information on the tragic event.
A calmness surrounded the area as children walked past after finishing school and others attended soccer practice at the nearby Brian Nevin Park.
Wafts of the unpleasant, rotting fruit smell swept from the drain when the wind turned, the odour getting worse as the day heated up.
The smell was what prompted local businesses to suspect something wasn't quite right, reporting it to the Gladstone Regional Council. After council workers flushed the drain, the smell remained.
Extracting the body presented new challenges that emergency services are expected to review today.
The main two options police had were to send someone down the drain or to dig up the road, an option Insp Peachey said would be their last resort.
"We're working with the council engineers to give us a clearer idea of where this person may have come from, to be laying where they are at the moment," Insp Peachey said.
"I can't be certain how big the drain is."
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