Ni -Van in amputation murder charge
A Ni- Vanuatu man has been charged with murder in a case involving the amputation of another man’s leg at Innisfail, in far north Queensland.
Police and court officials have confirmed that John Yalu, 36 of Innisfail appeared in Innisfail Magistrates Court this morning charged with the murder of a 66-year-old man.
Innisfail Police told VBTC News this afternoon that Yalu is a seasonal worker involved in the Seasonal Workers Program.
He was remanded in custody until June 6.
It is believed that Yalu is man Tanna.
Yalu was charged with murder over the gruesome death of the 66-year-old man in an Innisfail park.
Police have alleged that Yalu used a circular saw to sever the man’s leg below the knee.
They said the pair drove together to Fitzgerald Park in Innisfail at 3.48am on Saturday where they sat under a tree.
They said about twenty minutes later, Yalu allegedly used the saw to cut the older man’s lower leg off.
He then assisted the 66-year-old back to the car before fleeing the scene on foot, police said.
At 4.23am, a member of the public located the mutilated man and contacted emergency services. He died a short time later.
Yalu was found by police around midday on Saturday at an Innisfail residence and assisted police with their investigations.
Innisfail acting Detective Inspector Gary Hunter said police believe the men had entered an ‘arrangement’ of some kind for the 66-year-old man’s leg to be amputated.
“The two men were known to each other but the extent of that relationship is still forming part of our investigations,” Detective Inspector Hunter said.
“It’s also believed there’s been an arrangement between the two people for the amputation of the leg.
“The specific reasons and arrangements are subject to inquiries by detectives.
“We are unable [at this stage] to establish the motive behind the removal of the leg … but this is not an unprovoked attack,” he said.
Detective Inspector Hunter said the circular saw was owned by the deceased man and he refused to speculate whether drugs were involved.
He said the incident was ‘devastating and tragic’ and police had appointed a family liaison officer to provide support to the victim’s family.
“Obviously they are upset with what’s occurred … it’s totally unexpected.”
“During my 34 years as a police officer, I’ve never experienced a situation as we are presented with here today,” Detective Inspector Hunter said.