Crime scene clean ups can be a dirty business

GRIM TASK: Aust Bio Clean owners Elias Bobridge and Charina Farry.
GRIM TASK: Aust Bio Clean owners Elias Bobridge and Charina Farry. Rob Williams

EVERY time you watch the news or read about a horrific murder, suicide, meth lab bust or tragic death - spare a thought for Elias Bobridge and Charina Farry.

Their job is certainly no ordinary nine to five role most people can associate with - far from it.

Their job is to clean up horrific, blood spattered, fluid soaked crimes scenes across the south-east corner of the state.

But cleaning a crime scene involves a little more than just a simple wipe over and mop of the floor.

Mr Bobridge said each crime scene the duo attended told a different and tragic story.

He said he established Aust Bio Cleaning after a friend took their own life and he was asked to help clean up.

A crime scene where a person was found three weeks after thier death.
A crime scene where a person was found three weeks after thier death. Contributed

"When I spoke to them (the family) about what had happened, they said cleaning it up still played on their minds," he said.

"You do not want to clean up the remains of someone you know and you certainly do not want it to be the last thing you remember of them.

"It is extremely traumatic and upsetting."

Mr Bobridge said he normally switches off when he gets called to a crime scene and simply gets on with the job.

He said there was no such thing as a typical day - with each crime scene having its own unique attributes.

"The first thing that hits you is the smell," he said.

"You then go and evaluate the scene and work out how to proceed from there.

"For example if (the death) was on carpet, it may look like one foot in diameter of blood on the surface but it is actually at least three foot in diameter under that.

"It is like peeling away an onion - every layer has to be cleaned."

A crime scene at a house in Queensland Aust Bio Cleaning were called to clean up.
A crime scene at a house in Queensland Aust Bio Cleaning were called to clean up. Contributed

Ms Farry, who is a trained nurse, said trauma cleaning was vastly different from normal day-to-day cleaning.

She said it was imperative to remove all sources of infection at every crime scene - including removing floors and walls if necessary.

"You will never get rid of the smell if you do not," she said.

"My medical background of knowing how to clean up blood correctly is extremely helpful.

"It is not just about wiping it up and off you go.

Mr Bobridge said there was only one crime scene he still thinks about today.

He said the death of a man on the Sunshine Coast a few years ago had really affected him.

"The scene looked as though someone had hacked another person apart," he said.

"From the moment you entered the door, you looked down the hallway and there was blood all over the walls.

"You then looked in the bathroom and it was covered in blood, and I mean absolutely covered in blood.

"You then followed the blood trail into the lounge room and it was also covered in blood."

Mr Bobridge said the man met a particular gruesome death and the scene took the duo more than a day to clean.

He said police told him the man was a heroin addict whose jugular vein simply burst one night when he sat down to have dinner.

"You could only imagine what that poor bugger was going through in those last moments with litres of blood pumping out of him," he said.

"That scene had the most impact on me . . . you looked around and saw the pictures of him and his children . . . that really played on me."

Mr Bobridge said recently meth lab clean ups had become a big part of their business.

He said those clean ups could takes days or weeks depending on the level of contamination.

"For every one pound of meth produced, five to seven pounds of toxic waste is produced," he said.

"That toxic waste ends up in the floors, walls, the furniture, and it all has to be taken away and disposed of.

"The cost of a meth lab to be cleaned up is about $25,000 minimum and that is just to decontaminate the property."

Mr Borbidge said the duo ultimately got into their line of work because they wanted to help others.

He said the victim's families were always at the forefront of their thinking.

"You learn to block it out and realise that you are there to help the families," he said.

"The families are the victims as well.

"They are suffering and you do not want them to walk into a scene and see what the last moments of their loved ones lives were like.

"We always think about how our services have helped the families so they do not have to deal with that."

Topics:  crime crime scene ipswich crime murder

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