Nationwide appeal to identify body found in sleeping bag

Senior Constable Luke Pryke at the Tweed police station with the sleeping bag.
Senior Constable Luke Pryke at the Tweed police station with the sleeping bag. John Gass

Updated report 12.00pm: AT a press conference this morning Tweed Heads police Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said police did not know whether the man in the bag died due to suspicious circumstances.

"The post mortem did not identify any reason to suspect foul play," he said.

Insp Cullen was hopeful discovering the identity of the man would help determine his cause of death, which the post mortem could not identify due to severe decomposition.

"Identity will lead us to more clues about how he came to be in the place that he was," he said.

The sleeping bag the body was found in.
The sleeping bag the body was found in.

Insp Cullen said police assumed the bag was handmade and could provide clues regarding who the unidentified man was.

"We believe that someone would have made that bag," he said.

"We're appealing to the public if anyone knows who may have made that bag, or who owned that bag or anything about that, we would like to hear from them."

Mr Cullen said police believed the bag was used to sleep in.

Insp Cullen pointed out that the man's distinct underpants of unknown brand could also provide vital clues in the "unusual" investigation.

"It's very unusual. It's unusual that no one has come forward to say they're missing this person."


Initial Report 10.38am: TWEED Police have launched a nationwide appeal for information which may help identify a man whose decomposed body was found in a cotton fibre style bag near the Tweed River last year.

The body was found on Saturday, November 24 on the banks of the Tweed River at Tumbulgum.

A close up of fabric from the cotton fibre bag the man was found in.
A close up of fabric from the cotton fibre bag the man was found in.

A post mortem examination established the man was Caucasian and aged between 50 to 70 years.

  • He was 163cm tall and of a thin build with grey hair tied in a ponytail with a blue band.
  • He may have worn dentures.

The post mortem was unable to determine the cause of the man's death.

Checks of missing persons databases have failed to identify the body and Strike Force Tukara has been formed to investigate the man's death.

Detectives hope the cotton bag in which the body was found may offer clues to his identity. It is approximately 60cm x 165cm and is made of plaid Indian cotton.

The material is blue with an off white cheque and may have been hand made. The man was also wearing a pair of orange and blue underpants.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact Tweed Heads Police on 07 5536 0999, Murwillumbah Police on 02 6672 9499 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Tumbulgum is about 10km east of Murwillumbah.

The man's orange and blue underpants.
The man's orange and blue underpants.

Topics:  tweed police tweed river

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