Police in Australia say they have made remarkable progress in the Steve Irwin Murder Inquiry, and have, in the last 12 hours, made an arrest in the case.
Offiecrs from the Queensland Marine Police have apprehended a stingray they say is the fish responsible for the slaying of the Crocodile Hunter.
On 4 September 2006, Irwin was fatally injured when pierced in the chest by a stingray spine while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, which is located off the coast of Port Douglas, north Queensland. Ironically, he was filming his documentary, Ocean's Deadliest, but bad weather had prevented filming. He decided to film some shallow water shots for a television program his daughter Bindi was hosting, when he swam too close to one of the stingrays, whose barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart.
Footage of the incident was handed to the Queensland Police, who, after reviewing it, speculated that the stingray felt threatened by Irwin. In such cases, stingrays respond to danger by automatically flexing the serrated spine on its tail in an upward motion.
Even so, the case has been treated as homicide, and no stone has been left unturned in the relentless search for the killer. Only last month in the same area, three stingrays were brought in for questioning, but were later released without charge.
This morning, however, a new suspect was under lock and key in a special prison tank. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told a news conference:
"We believe this is the barsted that killed Steve Irwin. Looks just like him. Police are confident that they've got their fish, and if that proves chipper, the sea will be a lot safer place with that barsted behind bars."