Cut-up Torso Found Off Kyeemagh Beach May Have Been Drug Mule: Nsw Coroner

A mysterious and unidentified torso found floating off Kyeemagh Beach at Botany Bay more than four years ago could have been a drug mule who was cut open to retrieve drugs from inside him, the NSW coroner has found.

A group of men on Corrective Services work orders discovered the torso floating about three metres off the beach on January 27, 2012.

The head, neck and limbs had been cleanly sawn off and the torso had no identifying marks, scars or tattoos.

The body was found wrapped in a white hessian sack and weighted with a 22.5-kilogram dumbbell before being bound in a black fitted bed sheet and a metal chain.

A post-mortem examination of the body revealed it belonged to a Caucasian man, aged between 23 and 57 years of age.

Toxicology tests revealed the man had a potentially lethal level of cocaine in his system when he died.

The torso also had a diagonal incision from the chest to the groin which exposed the man's abdominal organs.

In handing down his findings, coroner Derek Lee said those two facts suggested the possibility the man died as a result of an overdose, or that he had been smuggling drugs inside his body and someone had cut him open to retrieve them.

"The possibility of the deceased being involved in drug-related criminal activity is high," he said.

"The presence of cocaine in the liver and bowel, coupled with the incision wound to the abdomen tend to suggest that the deceased could have been concealing drugs internally for the purposes of illegal couriering." Mr Lee ruled the man had most likely been murdered.

"The grisly circumstances in which the deceased was found immediately raises the possibility of a homicide by a person, or persons, unknown," he said.

"Despite extensive investigation that has now spanned four years, no further evidence has been uncovered that sheds much light on the questions that a coroner must answer.

"Even less is known about the deceased and what caused his death.

"The investigation was an exhaustive and diligent one which was frustrated by the sinister and calculated actions of the person, or persons, responsible for disposing of the deceased's torso." Police investigations into the man's death identified a criminal syndicate that was known to be operating in the area around Botany Bay and involved in the importation and distribution of illegal drugs.

But the inquest was told police were unable to uncover any direct evidence to link the body with that syndicate.

The inquest was also told DNA tests revealed the man carried a rare characteristic on his "Y" chromosome, which forensic pathologists were able to link to male ancestors and descendents with the surname Elliott and Sivyer.

Mr Lee has asked for the case of the unknown man to be referred to the NSW Police Unsolved Homicide Unit for further investigation.

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courts-and-trials murder-and-manslaughter kyeemagh-2216 First posted May 19, 2016 13:24:42

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