Body "cut into pieces" found stuffed in esky in Queensland

A NEW ZEALAND man has been found "cut into pieces" and stuffed into a esky in rural Australia.

Queensland police found the grisly remains of Campbell Paterson's body after a public tip-off led them to bushland to the southeast of Cairns, in the state's Far North region.

Police said Mr Paterson had disappeared but was never reported missing. Seven days ago detectives began a search and on Thursday their suspicions of foul play were confirmed.

Mr Paterson had been working in Cairns and returning to Napier, where his wife and four children live, every three to four months.

A family member told Hawke's Bay Today yesterday the whanau was "just getting to grips" with their loved one's violent death.

She said the family was "not willing to release a korero [statement] just yet".

"We are having a family get together tonight and will be talking about it [among] ourselves. It's obviously very difficult and sad for us right now, especially [for] Campbell's kids and wife."

A family friend added that Mr Paterson's New Zealand-based family were informed of his death on Thursday night following an identification process.

She said the body, which had been "cut into pieces", is due to return to New Zealand on Monday.

Early on Thursday morning Cairns local David Leslie Hickson, 32, was charged with Mr Paterson's murder and interference with a corpse after police executed a search warrant at a Cairns home. Queensland police said the crimes are alleged to have occurred on November 7.

Far North Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said Mr Paterson and Hickson were known to each other.

"We believed there were some suspicious circumstances around the potential this guy might be missing and we've launched it from there. "It really started as something really minor."

The Cairns Post reported two crime scenes were established at a single-storey house in Edmonton, a southern suburb of Cairns, and in dense bushland where a body had been located in a chilly bin.

On Thursday, Queensland State Emergency Service volunteers also examined nearby streets and searched surrounding properties.

Mr Asnicar said police were investigating whether Mr Paterson's body had been moved following his death and hoped residents might be able to shed light on what happened.

He said detectives were using "a range of methods" to track the victim's final days.

"We worked back from there to work out who he had been associating with or who he had been doing business with prior to his disappearance," he said.

Detectives closed the crime scene early yesterday morning.

Topics:  body cairns editors picks new zealand queensland

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