Man charged with murder after two bodies found at central Queensland caravan park
Police investigating the suspected double homicide of a man and woman found near Gladstone in central Queensland have charged a 64-year-old man with murder.
Authorities were called to a caravan park in Calliope just before 5:00pm yesterday after the bodies of William McLennan, 63, and Rhonda Daniel, 60, were found.
Mr McLennan was found outside his caravan with significant head injuries and was transported to Gladstone Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ms Daniel was found dead inside her caravan with significant injuries.
Police said the pair were killed with a small axe, which was recovered yesterday.
The ABC understands Mr McLellan was a retiree who had lived at the park for 35 years and had previously been in a relationship with Ms Daniel.
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow described the crime scenes as “gruesome”.
“Suffice to say that both scenes were quite horrific for police and emergency services,” he said.
A small tomahawk-type axe with blood on it was found near the woman’s caravan and is being sent to forensics for testing.
Police said the man in custody is also a resident at the caravan park and was known to both victims
It is understood Ms Daniel was also a long-term resident, and the pair lived separately.
Caravan Park resident Lortar Herrmann described the pair as a “nice and friendly” couple.
” I feel sad … It’s a bit of a shock to the system when I found out … I thought it was just a joke,” he said.
Mr Herrmann said the park was home to mostly long-term seniors and was normally a safe place to live.
“It is a nice, peaceful caravan park,” he said.
Police have put a tarp over the back of a caravan to cover up the crime scene. (ABC News: Emilia Terzon)
He described Mr McLennan as a “happy chappy” who always smiled.
“He used to drive around all the time in the car, say hello, he used to wave, nice day and that. I feel sorry for him, he was a nice friendly guy,” he said.
Resident Kym Samuel is looking after Mr McLennan’s dog, Spot, after describing his death as a “shame”.
“Just in shock, because he was a lovely fellow — he’d give you his shirt off his back. It’s just a shame,” she said.
“We’re quite prepared to look after Spot for the rest of his life.”
The entrance to Calliope Caravan Park, where two people were found dead. (Google Street View)
The two sites were declared a crime scene after another resident found the man and called emergency services.
Detectives from the Homicide Investigation Unit will travel to the town today to help local police investigate.
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said the incidents may have occurred sometime between 3:30 and 4:40pm yesterday.
“We are appealing for anyone who may have noticed or heard something or seen anyone suspicious, or something out of the ordinary, to contact us.”