The two responding officers, Bleddyn Davies and Michelle Beaman, said they entered the dense shrub off the side of Woolcoot Road and came within one metre of the body to confirm its existence.
Constable Beaman recalled how the pair were then asked on their police radios to see if they could determine its gender.
“I could only see parts of the body, the upper thigh, shoulder and foot,” she said.
“It was at that stage that I was asked if I could tell the sex of the deceased person, which at that stage I couldn’t … because the body was lying face down.
“We exited the bush area and stayed at the roadside … [police communications] instructed us to guard the scene until the arrival of the detectives.”
A cordon was set up by the pair once then-Detective Senior Constable Jim Crozier arrived at the scene and began a running sheet to track the movements of police.
Det. Crozier said he and another detective observed a torso about five or six metres from the road through the bushes, but did not enter the shrub so as not to contaminate the scene.
Mr Edwards’ defence team has previously indicated it would be looking to uncover potential sources of contamination that could have occurred during the recovery and examination of Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon’s bodies.
Prosecutors allege common blue polyester fibres found in Jane’s hair and on Ciara’s body match fibres from the Telstra-issued navy trousers Mr Edwards wore for work in the mid-90s.
It also alleges common grey fibres found on both women match the upholstery from the same make and model of car Mr Edwards drove – a 1996 Holden Commodore VS Series 1.
During cross-examination, lawyer Genevieve Clearly asked the two uniformed police officers whether they attended the site in their police-issued navy trousers, to which both replied yes.
She also Detective Crozier what car he drove to the site, to which he confirmed police at the time either drove Fords or Holdens, and if it were a Holden vehicle, it would have been a Commodore sedan, although he could not recall.
The trial is expected to continue hearing from police officers who attended the scene this week.
In an unprecedented move, Justice Stephen Hall allowed the prosecution to make an eleventh-hour dash to Officeworks during proceedings on Monday to erect make-shift screening behind the bar table to prevent the media and public gallery from being able to see the distressing photographs and vision taken from the crime scene.
The decision was made out of respect for the victims’ families.
Mr Edwards has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Sarah Spier, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.
The trial continues.
Heather McNeill is the crime and courts editor at WAtoday.