Man charged with killing Tweed homeless man wanted over another murder

UPDATE @ 3.15 PM | A man charged with the murder of a homeless man at Tweed Heads has been described as a “psychopath” with a “desire to kill” by police, after it was revealed he is wanted over the murder of another homeless man on the Sunshine Coast.

Kevin James Pettiford, 34, appeared in Tweed Heads Court on Wednesday, charged with the murder of a 56-year-old man, whose dead body was found inside a sleeping bag at Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park.

A couple walking their dog made the grim discovery about 11.00am last Friday.


Pettiford, who is also homeless himself, didn’t apply for bail, and will remain behind bars until the case returns to court next year.

Following his arrest, Queensland Police revealed he is also wanted over a second alleged murder involving a homeless man in Maroochydoore two months ago.

David Collin, 53, was found dead with severe head injuries at the rear of a community centre on Millwell Road East on September 9.

Acting Detective Inspector Darren Edwards told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that Mr Pettiford had been a person of interest in the murder case, but they had trouble trying to track him down.

“We had engaged a lot of resources to try and track him down, he is a transient himself, he moved to Sydney for sometime and then moved back up to the border area of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads,” Detective Inspector Edwards said.

“He wasn’t easy to track and was certainly trying to evade police but unfortunately he committed that further murder at Tweed Heads.”

When asked if there was a motive behind the two attacks, Detective Inspector Edwards revealed “the man simply had a desire to kill somebody and that’s unfortunately what he did on two occasions.”

“We do have some of his history, and psychopath may be a fitting word.”

Detective Inspector Edwards said Mr Pettiford went to desperate measures to avoid detection, including changing his appearance.

“He did go to extreme methods to evade police, change his description, discard clothing on several occasions, fortunately we managed to recover some of those items and he was cooperative during the interviews last night,” he said.

“That very morning after the Tweed Heads murder, he shaved his beard off, he discarded clothing down at Helensvale on the Gold Coast, he then returned to Sydney where he grew his beard back.”

“He did the same behaviour after the Sunshine Coast murder, he then returned back to the Southport area and again discarded clothing and sought replacement clothing.”

UPDATE @ 11.30am November 27 | A man’s been remanded in custody, after fronting court charged with the murder of a homeless man in Tweed Heads last week.

34-year-old Kevin James Pettiford was charged with the murder yesterday afternoon, following coordinated investigations between NSW police, QLD police and help from the community.

The body of a 56-year-old man was found in Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park last Friday morning, by a couple walking their dog.

Initial investigations found the body had suffered serious wounds.

It’s understood the victim was from Byron Bay, while police confirmed this morning that his alleged attacked is also not from the Tweed area.

NSW Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Cullen told reporters earlier this morning that a weapon was involved.

“We’ll be alleging that items were used in the murder. I’m not at liberty to tell you what the item was at this point in time,” Inspector Cullen said.

Pettiford didn’t apply for bail in court, and will remain behind bars until the case returns next year.

NSW Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Cullen says police will allege the attack was random, and very confronting.

“It’s a particularly brutal and violent attack, on someone who is essentially helpless.

“It’s quite confronting for the people who came across the deceased, and also for his family and friends,” Inspector Cullen said.

The matter will return to court on January 22 for a brief status mention.

EARLIER @ 5.00am November 27 | POLICE have charged a man with murder following the death of a man in a Tweed Heads park last week.

A couple walking their dog found the body of the 56-year-old man in a sleeping bag around 11am (AEDT) on Friday.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District established a crime scene and initiated an investigation under Strike Force Thurralilly, assisted by detectives from State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad.

Following inquiries, a 34-year-old man was arrested as he got off a bus in Wharf Street, Tweed Heads, about 3.15pm on Tuesday.

He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he has now been charged with murder.

The man has been refused bail to appear in Tweed Heads Local Court later today.

EARLIER @ 1PM November 22 | A major investigation is underway after the body of a man was found inside a sleeping bag at a Tweed Heads park.

A couple walking their dog made the grim discovery near the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park on Coral Street about 11.00am Friday NSW time.

Emergency crews rushed to the park, where they quickly established a crime scene.

It’s believed the man is aged in his 50s, however a post mortem will be conducted in the coming day to determine his cause of death and identity.

Tweed Detectives have swarmed the area and are currently conducting a canvas, with detectives from State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad also called in to investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.