THE WRITER of an anonymous letter claims British backpacker Peter Falconio’s body was chopped up and buried in a remote part of Western Australia.

Police in Darwin are now believed to be investigating after the typed letter was apparently sent to the Northern Territory News.

The newspaper said the letter writer, an Australian expatriate now living in London, claimed that Bradley Murdoch, serving 28 years in jail for the murder, rang a criminal associate asking to meet him in the Outback following the killing. He was then instructed to dissolve Mr Falconio’s body in acid and dump the remains in the Swan River.

Mr Falconio, a graduate from the University of Brighton, and girlfriend Joanne Lees left their home in Hove in 2001 to tour around Australia on the trip of a lifetime.

The pair were travelling when Bradley Murdoch, an Australian, waved down their camper van and shot Mr Falconio in the head.

Ms Lees, now 43, was threatened with a gun, punched on the head and bound with cable-ties. She managed to escape and hid in bushes for hours while her attacker stalked her with a dog.

Mr Falconio’s body has never been found despite extensive searches.

The Northern Territory News said it knew the name of the alleged criminal associate but had not published it.

The letter reportedly said: “Murdoch told (the associate) that he had murdered a guy in self-defence. At the time, (the associate) had no idea who the victim was.

“Murdoch had cut the body up and put it in two large bags that were watertight and smell proof.

“(The associate) told me he buried both the bags unopened in a nice spot and even made up a cross. Later he realised who he had buried and was in a bad way about it.”

In an apparent contradiction, the paper went on to say that the letter had described how Murdoch told the associate to go straight back to Perth, in Western Australia, and dissolve the body parts in acid. He was then to put what was left into the Swan River (pictured), which runs through Perth.

The letter writer, who confessed to having been involved in criminal activity with the associate, said he had to remain anonymous but felt the Falconio family and Miss Lees deserved to know what had happened to their loved one.

Earlier this year Ms Lees returned to Australia 15 years after the murder.

She said at the time: “I’ll never be fully at peace if Pete’s not found.”