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AUSSIE COPS PROBE BRIT'S 'FAKE DEATH'.

Byline: JOHN PLUNKETT

COPS investigating the murder of Aussie backpacker Peter Falconio one year ago are probing a new theory - that he faked his own death.

His girlfriend Joanne Lees claimed the Brit was shot and abducted by a stranger who flagged down their truck. But no body has ever been found.

Now an anonymous informant has claimed Peter, 28, of Hove, Sussex, sought information on life assurance policies and ways to fake death before his trip with Joanne, 28 - who evaded the gunman.

Police are also quizzing a man who claims to have spoken to Peter in Australia recently.

Peter's mother Joan branded the theory "absolutely disgusting".

But a source said: "It's only natural the police explore every possibility. It's like a murder mystery without the last chapter."

CAPTION(S):

LOVERS: Jo and Peter
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2002
Words:135
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