A well-meaning passer-by who came to the aid of a bogged vehicle in the Adelaide Plains may hold the key to the disappearance and suspected murder of 32-year-old Michael Jeffrey Purse.
While Mr Purse was not reported missing until April 24, 2019, Major Crime investigators can reveal he likely met with foul play weeks earlier, about Thursday, February 7, 2019.
It is known Mr Purse was involved in the illicit drug trade, as well as fraud offending, with associates in Adelaide’s western and southern suburbs.
Superintendent Des Bray, Officer in Charge of Major Crime Investigation Branch, said Mr Purse spent the evening of February 6 in the Adelaide CBD and casino before attending Unit 17/415 Churchill Road, Kilburn.
“We have established with some certainty that Mr Purse remained at the Kilburn unit, in the company of three other men and two women and some of those played a role in his disappearance,” Supt. Bray said.
Detectives suggest Mr Purse was likely killed at the Kilburn address in the early hours of the following morning on Thursday, February 7, before his body was stowed in the boot of a green 2000 Daewoo Lanos Hatch, later captured driving north of the city by traffic cameras nearby Globe Derby Park.
“Sometime between 5am and 8.30am, that vehicle became bogged in the Adelaide Plains region,” Supt. Bray said.
“Finding themselves in broad daylight, the parties involved aborted their attempt to dispose of Mr Purse’s body, and returned to the Kilburn unit.”
Detectives believe that in the early hours of Friday, February 8, the offenders subsequently returned to the Adelaide Plains and disposed of Mr Purse’s body.
“It’s our belief an unknowing member of the public assisted in freeing the bogged Daewoo, but we are yet to identify that person.
“We’re imploring the personwho helped free them from the bog to please phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
Arrest over child abuse material
Detectives from the SA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) a partnership between SAPOL’s Public Protection Branch and the Australian Federal Police arrested a 38-year-old man from the Mid-North last Wednesday, April 29, and charged him with possession of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service.
The man was bailed to appear in the Clare Magistrates Court on August 10.
Other police news:
Police and ambulances were called to an incident in Balaklava, after a man suffered a medical episode while driving.
The car came to a stop against a fence of an abandoned yard, but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Between May 2-3:
A suspect entered the property on Palomino Court, Roseworthy and let down tyres on three vehicles.
Barossa Detectives arrested a 38-year-old man from Lewiston for aggravated assault cause harm.
• Gawler Police reported a 47-year-old man from Balaklava for drug driving.
Between May 1-2:
A property on Dawkins Road, Lewiston was broken into by jemmying open the front door and approximately $500 worth of alcohol and other items were stolen.
At a business on Old Port Wakefield Road, Two Wells, two men stole two hunting knives. They were reported for theft.
At a property on Tatura Avenue, Two Wells, entry was gained by jemmying a bathroom window and the suspect stole items including a sound bar, PS4, monitor for laptop, TV, iPod charging dock and alcohol.
• A man will face court after drugs were found in his car during a traffic stop at Red Hill last Thursday.
Highway patrols stopped a car on the Augusta Highway and the male driver underwent a driver screening test, which returned a positive reading for cannabis and methamphetamine.
A further search of the man’s car uncovered small amounts of cannabis, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia associated with dealing drugs.
The 43-year-old man from Nairne was arrested and charged with trafficking a controlled drug, and may face further charges once his drug sample has been forensically analysed.
He was bailed to appear in the Port Pirie Magistrates Court on September 7.
A grey Ford Falcon, registration S773AWC, was stolen from the driveway of a property at Hendo Place, Two Wells.
• Kapunda Police reported a 58-year-old man from Kapunda for cultivating cannabis.