Police have charged a father, his son and another man over the murder of Gold Coast man Shaun Barker whose remains were found months after he disappeared.
A father and son who allegedly tortured, bashed and killed a Gold Coast man in what’s believed to be a drug-related murder have been charged along with a third man.
The 45-year-old father was arrested at Brisbane airport on Saturday morning, after months of investigations into the disappearance of Shaun Barker, 33, by Gold Coast police and the homicide squad.
His son, 22, was also arrested on Saturday morning and a 37-year-old Gold Coast man was nabbed in Toowoomba.
They’ve been charged with murder, interfering with a corpse, torture and deprivation of liberty.
The accused murderers and Mr Barker were “just acquaintances,” Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson told reporters.
“We believe it was just drug related … but they had known each other for a reasonable period,” he said on Saturday.
Mr Barker was known to police and was last seen at a service station at Broadbeach, on the Gold Coast, on December 10.
In January his sister reported him missing.
“He was taken away from that service station against his will,” Det Supt Hutchinson said.
“We will allege that he was assaulted and later transported up to Cooloola Cove, just northeast of Gympie.”
The next day at Cooloola Cove, where the father and son live, police allege Mr Barker was bashed, tortured and imprisoned for a long period before being killed.
His body was burnt and stashed in a forest near Tin Can Bay, where in April his skull was found.
“A subsequent search of that area recovered other human remains which were later forensically examined and positively identified as Shaun Barker,” Det Supt Hutchinson said.
Police are looking for a white 1983 Toyota Landcruiser with the Queensland registration 817SBZ – the car they believe was used to take Mr Barker to Cooloola Cove.
Mr Barker’s car was in June found about 20km from where he was last seen.
The father and son are due before the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court Monday while the 37-year-old is listed to appear at the Toowoomba Magistrate’s Court.
“It’s a pretty terrible set of circumstances that Mr Barker’s been through,” Det Supt Hutchinson said.
“We will allege that he was held against his will and that he was tortured before being killed. It’s certainly one of the most horrific ones that have occurred in recent times.”
No further arrests are expected.