The death of a 54-year-old Queensland man after an “incident” with an industrial woodchipper is being treated as suspicious by police.
When Bruce Saunders died in November, police believed he was the victim of a tragic accident.
The Nambour man, police believed, had been working on a rural property two hours north of Brisbane, helping a family friend clear trees from her yard, when he fell into a large industrial woodchipper.
At the time, Fairfax Media reported that friends had tried to pull him out of the machine.
“It’s just a tragic accident … there is no suggestion of foul play,” acting Inspector Paul Algie is reported to have said at the time. He had died “within a few seconds”.
But police now suspect that Saunders may not have fallen. On Friday, Queensland police confirmed that information received during a coronial investigation had led them to believe Saunders’ death was suspicious.
They said a search of the property last week had turned up “several items of interest”.
Detectives from the homicide unit were now involved, and Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said the police were “following a number of promising lines of inquiries”. They were confident of determining what happened, he said. “Since that night information has come to hand to indicate the reporting of the death, which was reported as accidental, may not be the case,” he said.
“Information we received during the course of our coronial investigations has led us to believe that the death is suspicious, and we have a number of detectives and police experts investigating this incident,” Pettiford said.
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