September 28, 2022

Qld charged with murder released after new information | Western Magazine

Police have dropped murder charges against a 28-year-old man who was arrested for the deaths of two people after a house fire in south Brisbane.

The bodies of the 68-year-old woman and 73-year-old man were found in the burnt remains of a Collingwood Park home on January 23, with post-mortem results showing evidence of abuse.

The man had been charged with two counts of murder, one count of arson and one count of unlawful use of a vehicle on Sunday morning, before the charges were dropped later that day.

“Following investigations this afternoon and new information provided to police, investigators have dropped charges against a 28-year-old man from Goodna pending further investigation of this information,” the police said. Queensland Police in a statement.

The man has now been released.

Police are still searching for two vehicles, a green double-cab utility vehicle and a black Mercedes Benz.

They are also looking to speak to anyone who was at Kruger Shopping Village, Redbank Plains or Hannant St, Collingwood Park on the morning of January 22.

The couple – who have been identified as Joe and Christine Stephan – were found on the lower level of the house which caught fire early last Sunday.

Police said the two were not killed by the fire.

“We have identified that Joe and Christine died of significant injuries sustained in an act of violence, not as a result of the fires,” Detective Inspector Heath McQueen said Sunday.

The couple have two children and police are working with the family to provide support and welfare as the investigation progresses.

On Friday, Detective Inspector McQueen described the circumstances of the house fire and the deaths as complex.

“Autopsies have been conducted…I can only go into detail to confirm that their deaths are suspicious and did not contribute to the fire, with evidence of violence,” he said. .

Australian Associated Press