Kill victim ‘an animal lover and popular’
TWO years after starting a vigilante group in Geelong, Nick Cross, 31, has been charged with murder.
Maddison Parrott’s body was found in a burnt tent at Geelong Showgrounds on Tuesday.
The Geelong Advertiser understands Ms Parrott, 29, was shot in the head before her body was moved to the showgrounds and later burned.
A 31-year-old Bell Park woman and a 34-year-old man from Colac have been charged with accessory to murder after the fact.
Heavily armed police arrested the trio in Sydney on Thursday afternoon.
They spent Thursday in custody and faced Sydney’s Fairfield Local Court for an extradition hearing yesterday.
They are expected to arrive in Victoria by mid-morning today.
The ABC reported yesterday that when he was led from court, Mr Cross exclaimed, “free plane trip”.
In 2016 Mr Cross led a controversial group of residents that conducted nightly anticrime patrols in the city’s north.
At the time he admitted to having a “sketchy past” and said he may have spent time growing up on the streets of Geelong.
He said he formed the online vigilante group after teenagers tried to break into his home and that he had had enough of crime and wanted to protect others.
“When I was growing up you knew your neighbours, you put your bins out for your neighbours, you looked out for each other. That doesn’t happen anymore,” he said.
Homicide detectives were called in after the remains of Ms Parrott — from Waurn Ponds — were discovered at the Breakwater showgrounds early on Tuesday.
The much-loved former Belmont High School student had been a store manager at Platypus Shoes, where she is understood to have worked until almost a year ago.
Ms Parrott came from a loving family and was the niece of well-known chef Simon Par- rott, who is The Pier’s executive chef.
A close friend of Ms Parrott’s remembered her as funloving, popular, kind and beautiful.
The friend, who did not wish to be named, said the dead woman was a “good, hard worker”, a talented netballer, and loved animals and going to the gym.
Ms Parrott was separated from her husband, whom she wed about three years ago.
The break-up was acrimonious, one source told the Geelong Advertiser, while another said she had struggled after the split.
She had also previously been employed at Cotton On’s Market Square store in Geelong, and her social media posts reveal a concern for animal welfare.
Police have also been talking to former colleagues.
Firefighters were called to the campsite at Geelong Showgrounds about 2am Tuesday and found the tent engulfed by flames. They extinguished the fire and found Ms Parrott’s body, which was clad in leopard print leggings.
MUCH-LOVED: Waurn Ponds woman Maddison Parrott, whose body was found this week. RIGHT: Nick Cross poses for the Geelong Advertiser in 2016.