News State Queensland Men charged over ‘horrific’ woodchipper murder

Men charged over ‘horrific’ woodchipper murder

woodchipper murder Bruce Saunders
Bruce Saunders was found dead in an industrial woodchipper on November 13. Photo: Facebook
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Two men have been charged with the gruesome murder of a man killed in an industrial woodchipper in Queensland’s southeast, with a woman also under arrest.

Bruce Saunders, 54, suffered a horrific death when he went through the machine while clearing a driveway with two other men at rural Goomboorian, near Gympie, on the night of November 12 last year.

The men had spent consecutive weekends helping a woman they knew prepare her property for sale, and police initially believed Mr Saunders had died in a terrible accident.

On Tuesday, almost four months after a tip-off led police to suspect foul play, detectives arrested and charged two men, aged 59 and 61, with murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

They also arrested a woman, 57, at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast as she travelled from NSW to Queensland.

woodchipper murder
Police said after further investigation they were now treating the death as suspicious. Photo: Queensland Police

The men will face the Maroochydore Magistrates Court later in the day, but will not be allowed to apply for bail due to the serious nature of the charges.

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,” he said in a statement.

Investigators described the scene as “horrific”, “absolutely shocking” and “very distressing”.