The Guardian Australia

Woman found dead with burn injuries in Gold Coast backyard identified


The woman whose burned body was found in the backyard of a Gold Coast home has been identified as mother-ofthree Kelly Wilkinson.

Officers are treating the death of Wilkinson at a home in Spikes Court, Arundal on Tuesday morning as a homicide, with a man who also suffered burns arrested nearby.

Detective inspector Chris Ahearn said the death was possibly an act of domestic violence with the pair known to each other.

“The male person we located and the deceased female person were known to each other, and potentiall­y in a previous relationsh­ip,” Ahearn said.

“So that is the subject of one of the avenues of our ongoing investigat­ion into this matter.”

Neighbours reported raised voices coming from the home about 6.40am.

“It was obviously a very confrontin­g scene, a female person deceased in the rear yard of a residence, apparently suffering from burn-type injuries,” Ahearn said.

Three children, are all under the age of nine and home at the time, may have witnessed Wilkinson’s death.

All three are safe and are believed to be her children, and will be interviewe­d as part of the investigat­ion.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family and pay for Wilkinson’s funeral.

“Please help us! We appreciate any help no matter how big or small,” organiser of the fundraiser Natalie Wilkinson said.

The man arrested by police was found semi-conscious with serious burn injuries on a lawn two blocks away.

The 35-year-old was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital under police guard and is undergoing medical treatment.

Ahearn said the man has burns to his hands and may have internal burns in his airway.

He said the man’s burn injuries may have been caused by an attempt at selfharm.

“That’s most certainly one of the possibilit­ies, absolutely,” he said.

Police were speaking with local residents and stopped rubbish collection­s because potential evidence may have been dumped in a bin.

Ahearn said the man may be moved to a Brisbane hospital for treatment on medical advice.

Police will interview the 35-year-old as soon as they are able, he said.

Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke, 31, was doused with petrol and set alight by her estranged husband while in her car with her three children in February 2020. All four died of their injuries.

• In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counsellin­g service is on 1800 737 732. In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other internatio­nal helplines can be found via www.befriender­

 ?? Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP ?? Queensland police were called to a home in Arundel on the Gold Coast where officers found a woman’s body.
Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Queensland police were called to a home in Arundel on the Gold Coast where officers found a woman’s body.

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