Two 17-year-olds have been charged with the alleged murder of a Tasmanian man who was reported missing on August 11.
Billy Ray Waters, 19, was last seen on August 4, but it took an extensive search of local bushland for his body to be found near Mayfield on Saturday.
According to Detective Acting Inspector Craig Fox, a 33-year-old man is also in police custody in regards to the crime. Murder charges have been laid against two 17-year-old men who were allegedly involved in Waters’ death
“Police would like to thank the members of the public who came forward to Crime Stoppers with information which, coupled with some excellent police work, has led to these three arrests,” he said.
“The information they have given us over the last few days has directly led us to firming up some investigations we had already done and has directly led us to here.”
Police were initially called to what is believed to be the scene of the crime on August 4 after locals reported hearing gunshots and screaming. Due to the dense scrub and bushland, police didn’t find the body on this occasion, but Inspector Fox has defended their efforts.
“I can confirm that police did receive a phone call on the evening of the 4th August on the Sunday evening, where shots had been fired and screams being heard,” he said. “A search was conducted, but we are in extensive bushland, and noises, loud bangs and a huge amount of distance.”
However, 12 days later his body was recovered as a result of a tip off via Crime Stoppers. the two alleged culprits were arrested in a public area within an hour of the body being found.
“As a result of an extensive search by search and rescue, forensic police, uniform police and CIB, the discovery was made of the body, unfortunately deceased.”
The body is believed to be that of Billy Ray Walters, but a formal identification is yet to take place.
“We have some clothing at the scene, obviously a description of the body, there are some other things that indicate that Mr Waters is the deceased man,” Fox said.
The two alleged offenders will appear in a closed court in Launceston on Sunday night. All three people in custody were known to Mr Waters prior to the alleged attack.