‘Frightened’ homeless stick together after man’s death
THE discovery of a homeless man dead in his sleeping bag at Jack Evans Boat Harbour in Tweed Heads on Friday has local charity founder John Lee deeply concerned.
The You Have a Friend founder rushed to the area after hearing of the man's death.
Mr Lee said by the time he arrived people were already placing flowers where the man was found as police continued to work the crime scene.
He spent the afternoon speaking with the homeless in the area, many of whom are supported by Mr Lee's charity.
He said they had told him they were now "frightened" and "sticking together".
"The guys told me, 'We didn't know him, but he was a nice guy and we all spent time together with him on Thursday night'," Mr Lee said.
"I know they (police) have interviewed a number of (homeless) guys on the street, but none of them have been charged.
"I'm convinced it's none of the homeless guys.
"They were with him on the night he died - they just wouldn't do that."
A woman who saw the man's body before emergency services arrived told Mr Lee it was a "very vicious attack".
"It seems likely it wasn't necessarily a young kid who kicked the hell out of him," Mr Lee said.
"He still had a wrist bracelet on from the hospital because the woman who found him second saw it.
"He had ID on him and they (police) were contacting his family."
The 56-year-old Byron Bay man was found about 11am by a couple who were walking their dog.
Police established a crime scene and conducted a canvass of the surrounding area.
Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen told the Tweed Daily News the investigation was in the early stages.
DCI Cullen appealed for witnesses who were in the area from about 4pm on Thursday until Friday morning to help with their inquiries.
"What might not be apparent to them, might be relevant to us," he said.
Know more? Phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.