Community’s grief over Mer­ton death

Mans­field po­lice say in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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