Un­der­pants, ear­ring found with re­mains

The Morning Bulletin - - DOUBLE MURDER TRIAL - KERRI-ANNE MESNER kerri-anne.mesner@cap­news.com.au

UN­DER­PANTS and an ear­ring were found when po­lice dug up Robert Martinez’s re­mains from a De­pot Hill paddock in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Ian Robert Arm­strong and Daniel Ge­orge Hong have pleaded not guilty to mur­der­ing Mr Martinez and Chan­tal Bar­nett.

Mr Martinez’s re­mains were found by farm worker Mal­colm Cheetham on Oc­to­ber 26, 2014.

Foren­sic co­or­di­na­tor at Rock­hamp­ton sta­tion In­spec­tor Adrian Brock told the Supreme Court in Rock­hamp­ton he ini­tially as­sessed the scene and a 2m x 2m grid was placed over the area where most of the re­mains were.

“The ma­jor­ity of the re­mains were on top of the ground,” he said.

There was no tis­sue present. He said the only in­di­ca­tion of cloth­ing was a fine fab­ric over the pelvic bones – most likely men’s un­der­wear.

An ear­ring was also found when dirt was sifted.

Insp Brock said po­lice dug about 10mm into the ground to re­cover the re­mains.

“The up­per part of the body ap­peared to be ly­ing on its back and its right hand bent at about 90 de­grees with its fore­arm above its head,” he told the court.

“The left arm was just gen­er­ally lay­ing by its side about 45 de­grees out.

“The left leg was more over to­wards the right side of the body as if po­ten­tially the lower part was twisted com­pared to the up­per part.

“The long bones of the left leg were more to­wards the right-hand side of the body, how­ever, the right leg it­self was scat­tered out­side of the grid.”

Insp Brock said there were a num­ber of bones within a 10me­tre ra­dius which was in­dica­tive of an­i­mal ac­tiv­ity as the body de­com­posed over time.

“There was in­di­ca­tion that the pelvis was twisted. The spine ap­peared to be on its back,” he said.

“Pretty much the ver­te­brate was in­tact and most of the bones were in the rough area of where they should be.

“Ob­vi­ously due to some pre­da­tion, which is an­i­mal ac­tiv­ity around that area, there were some scat­tered out to places where they shouldn’t be.”

Foren­sic pathol­o­gist Dr Nathan Milne, who car­ried out an au­topsy on Mr Martinez’s re­mains, gave ev­i­dence that there were some small bones from his hands and feet miss­ing.

“There were no acute in­juries that ap­peared prior to death,” he told the court.

Dr Milne said there was some dam­age to the ribs caused mostly af­ter death and some fire dam­age to the bones post mortem.

Burn­ing off ac­tiv­ity could ex­plain the fire dam­age.

Dr Milne said he could not de­ter­mine a cause of death from the bones.

He did not rule out trauma to the body caus­ing death but not frac­tur­ing the bones, or poi­son­ing or drug over­dose due to the lack of tis­sue.

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