Drifter held by police over death of backpacker

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Queensland police were questioning a man last night about the murder of the British backpacker Caroline Stuttle.

Queensland police were questioning a man last night about the murder of the British backpacker Caroline Stuttle.

The 21-year-old drifter, who was arrested on Saturday after voluntarily presenting himself at a police station, had not been ruled out as a suspect, detectives said. They received a number of telephone calls saying he resembled a computer-generated image, released by police, of a man seen following Ms Stuttle on to a bridge in the town of Bundaberg last Wednesday night.

A man fitting the same description was involved in a disturbance at a café in Bundaberg the following morning, according to a witness who contacted police. During the altercation at the café, called Jungle Jack's, he reportedly grabbed a parasol from a table and threw it to the ground.

Ms Stuttle, 19, died from head and spinal injuries after falling 20 metres (65 feet) from the bridge. She was on her way back to a caravan park, where she was staying with a British travelling companion, Sarah Holiday, after calling her boyfriend in England from a public telephone in town.

Ms Holiday, 20, who took a mobile phone call from her friend shortly before she died, flew to Britain on Saturday.The pair, both from York, had been travelling around Australia for two months.

The 21-year-old man, who accompanied police to the bridge on Saturday to retrace Ms Stuttle's steps, is to appear in court today on an unrelated drugs matter. He has not been charged with murder.

A police spokesman said: "We have received a lot of information in recent days, but this man's information could prove to be the most significant." Police added other suspects were still being sought. DNA samples have been taken from some witnesses.

Comments