Vig­i­lante ex­tra­dited

Kill vic­tim ‘an an­i­mal lover and pop­u­lar’

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - OLIVIA SHY­ING and TA­MARA McDON­ALD

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.

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