Murder charges laid over The Rock death

Source: The Daily Advertiser

A DRAMATIC arrest has seen two people charged with the murder of 74-year-old The Rock resident Rodney Willis who died in his home last week under suspicious circumstances.

Yesterday, police said they have in fact been investigating a homicide in relation to the death of Mr Willis, who was found in cardiac arrest at his Scott Street home on Wednesday, about 11.30am.

Police confirmed at 1.05am officers went to a Railway Street address in the Rock and arrested one female and one male, aged 23 and 25, who were later charged with murder. Both were refused bail.

Both are due to front Wagga Local Court on Wednesday.

Mystery still surrounds the death of Mr Willis, with an Ambulance Service of NSW spokeswoman initially saying the man was in a critical condition after a fall and police not confirming the injuries sustained by the man.

However, police did release yesterday Mr Willis had suffered head injuries. His body has since been sent to Sydney for a post-mortem examination.

On Thursday, members of The Rock community groups remembered Mr Willis as a man who was clever, private and good-humoured - with The Rock and District Men's Shed secretary Kevin Verdon describing his friend as "gentle and an avid reader".

The arrests come only two days after the completion of the forensic examination of Mr Willis' home - and after days of interviewing friends and neighbours of the elderly man.

At the weekend, Wagga Local Area command released the image and name of a man with strong links to The Rock on its Facebook page, warning the public to contact police immediately if he was sighted. The post has since been removed.

SUNDAY

Wagga police have confirmed two people have been charged with murder following the death of 74-year-old man Rodney Willis at The Rock last week.

Police confirmed officers attended an address in Railway Street at The Rock about 1.05am on Sunday where they arrested a female and male, aged 23 and 25.

They were both later charged with murder.

Both were refused bail and will attend Wagga Local Court on Monday.

The charges come after police remained tight-lipped about the death of Mr Willis, who was found in cardiac arrest at his Scott Street home about 11.30am on Wednesday.

Emergency service personnel performed CPR for 45 minutes. But Mr Willis was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday, Mr Willis was remembered as a private, good-humoured man, who was very active in community groups and organisations in the town, which included Meals on Wheels and the Emily Centre.

Since Wednesday, forensic investigators have been combing his Scott Street house – interviewing friends and neighbours.

Police confirmed the body of Mr Willis had been sent to Sydney for a post-mortem examination. A brief is still being prepared for the coroner.

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