Coast woman, 57, charged with murder over woodchipper death
UPDATE 12.45PM: Police have charged a woman with murder following investigations into the death of Nambour man Bruce Saunders at Goomboorian on November 12.
A 57-year-old Sunshine Coast woman was on Tuesday charged with murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice after being arrested earlier in Coolangatta.
She is due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
UPDATE 11.15AM: A 57-year-old Gympie woman is being transported to Maroochydore Magistrates Court from Coolangatta following her arrest in relation to the alleged horrific murder of 54-year-old Nambour butcher Bruce Saunders.
Wide Bay Police District Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said the woman, who had been visiting a friend in Grafton, was arrested this morning after driving to Coolangatta for a medical appointment.
Her arrest was the third today after a Deception Bay man and another from Gympie were detained earlier.
Det Inspector Pettiford said all would be charged with murder.
They include a 61-year-old Gympie male, a 59-year-old Deception Bay man and the woman.
He said the initial investigation had begun on November 12 last year when police were called to a Goomboorian rural property outside Gympie to attend what had been presented as an accident in which Mr Saunders had become entangled in a wood chipper.
Det Inspector Pettiford said the matter had originally been investigated as an accident but in the following days information had come to hand that re-evaluated the incident as a suspicious death.
"Work will continue to build a brief of evidence," he said.
Det Inspector Pettiford said the three arrested were associates. It would be alleged Mr Saunders' death was not an accident and that the three had conspired together to allegedly murder him.
He praised Mr Saunders' family who said had been trusting of police.
"I'd like to thank Mr Saunders' family," he said. "They have remained calm. They are very upset today but thankful this part of the investigation is complete."
Det Inspector Pettiford also praised the impact Crime Stoppers had in collecting information from the public describing the anonymous call centre as "absolutely amazing".
He said without community members coming forward police would never solve a lot of crime.
9AM: Police have made another arrest relating to the alleged murder last November of country butcher Bruce Saunders, who had originally been thought to have died after being pulled into a wood chipping machine on a property outside Gympie.
Detectives from Gympie Criminal Investigation Branch and the Homicide Investigation Unit have today arrested three people following investigations into the alleged murder of Nambour man Bruce Saunders,54, on November 12 last year.
Two men were taken into custody early this morning followed by the arrest of a 57-year-old woman in Coolangatta who was travelling from New South Wales to Queensland.
Detectives had earlier arrested a 59-year-old man at Deception Bay and a 61-year-old man at Gympie this morning and charged them with one count each of murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
They are due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court later today.
Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said the arrests marked the closure of a vital phase in the investigation.
"The investigating police officers wish to thank the family members of Mr Saunders for their ongoing cooperation and also to members of the community who offered information during the investigation," Detective Inspector Pettiford said.
6.45AM: have arrested two men in relation to the alleged murder of Bruce Saunders in an industrial woodchipper on a rural property outside Gympie in November.
Charges were expected to be laid later today against the two men, one of whom is from Deception Bay.
Mr Saunders was initially thought to have died in a tragic accident while clearing a female friend's property on Tanana Road near Goomboorian.
However a muder investigation was launched when it was indicated the popular country butcher may have fallen victim to foul play with the possibility of a love triangle motive.
Mr Saunders had been working on the property with two other men - Greg Roser, 58, of Deception Bay and Peter Koenig, 61, of Gympie.
He died about 7.40pm on November 12 at the end of the third weekend he had been providing assistance as "an act of goodwill" for a female friend who had recently been widowed.
At the time Gympie Police acting Inspector Paul Algie described it as one of the worst incident scenes he had witnessed.
"It was actually quite horrific," acting Inspector Algie told media at the time.
"His friends discovered him as he became entangled and attempted to extract him from the shredder and were unable to do so.
"So they're obviously very traumatised now."
Police visited the property again in February seizing what they described at the time as items of interest.
Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford announced the death had become subject to a homicide investigation and said police had a number of promising lines of inquiry.