The girlfriend of a British tourist who was murdered in the Australian outback 16 years ago has returned to search for his missing body, and has surprisingly declared she wants to become an Australian citizen.

touristJoanne Lees, 43, was 27 when her boyfriend, Peter Falconio, was murdered by Bradley John Murdoch on July 14, 2001.

The couple was traveling around Australia when Falconio was murdered.

Murdoch told the couple there was something wrong with their van, and when Falconio went to investigate, he was shot dead.

Murdoch maintained his innocence throughout trials and Falconio’s body was never found, leading the media to speculate that it was Lees who had murdered her boyfriend.

Lees described the time immediately after Falconio’s murder as “soul-destroying”, but admitted that it might surprise many to learn that she wants to not only search for the body, but become an Australian citizen as well.

“It was shattering and soul-destroying to come to realize that I was being disbelieved,” she told the Nine Network late on Sunday night.

“I felt like I was being treated as a perpetrator and it wasn’t helpful to me and my emotional wellbeing.

“(But) I’m in the process of applying for my Australian citizenship and I intend to spend a lot more time in Australia. When you put it like that, it is kind of mind blowing.”

Lees said she had discovered that her estranged Australian father had another daughter who lives in Australia, and Lees said she had recently grown close to the sister she never knew existed.

“I have a strong connection to Australia because my father in Australian,” Lees said.

Falconio was murdered in July 2014 but Bradley John Murdoch was only found guilty of his murder in 2005.

Source: Xinhua/

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