Community’s grief over Merton death
Mansfield police say investigations are ongoing
THE body of a 46-yearold male resident was discovered last week in the observer’s box at the Merton Racecourse.
The discovery was made by the deceased’s sister, after he failed to return home on September 19.
Emergency services were called, and Mansfield police, Mansfield ambulance and State Emergency Service crew members (SES) attended the scene.
“It is an unknown cause (of death) at this stage,” Sergeant Nathan Pelling of Mansfield police said.
“It’s going to be an ongoing investigation.
“(The victim’s) sister was the first one to find the male, which is only adding to her grief.”
A sleeping bag was located alongside the body, with initial suspicions that the deceased had intended to stay in the observer’s box.
However, police have deemed this theory unlikely as no other supplies were located.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious,” Sergeant Mark Ross of Mansfield police said.
“But a report is still being prepared for the coroner, and investigations will be ongoing.”
The Mansfield police must now examine any evidence and prepare a brief for the coroner.
A toxicology report will be included.
A Merton resident who is associated with the racecourse – but who wished to remain anonymous - said it was a sad day for the whole community.
“It is always awful when you hear news like this,” he said.
“The community is in shock – but unfortunately, these things can happen, and you often never find out why.
“There isn’t really much more to say, except that this is unfortunate for everyone involved.”
The Merton Racecourse is the oldest club in Victoria – established in 1865, and runs just one horse event each New Year’s Day.
The grounds are also known as the Merton Recreation Reserve.
Anyone who has any information which may assist the Mansfield police with its investigation is urged to call 5775 2555.