Car linked to murder of young Melbourne mum found as manhunt continues

UPDATE @ May 8, 9.00 AM: Police have confirmed they’ve found the missing Mercedes vehicle belonging to Ellie Price, as a nationwide manhunt for a Gold Coast member of a notorious crime family continues following the young mum’s suspected murder.

The body of the 26-year-old was found in her Park Street apartment in Melbourne on Monday after officers were called to the home to conduct a welfare check.

Detective Inspector Tim Day told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that Ms Price appeared to have suffered a “significant assault”.


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Following a public appeal yesterday, Ms Price’s luxury car was found in Diggers Rest overnight, although police say wanted man Ricardo ‘Rick’ Barbaro was not located with the vehicle.

The 33-year-old man, who is believed to have been in an on-off relationship with Ms Price since October last year, remains at large.

Homicide detectives have conducted significant searches over the past four days in an attempt to locate Barbaro, however have been unsuccessful.

Mr Barbaro’s last known address is Southport on the Gold Coast, however Detective Day says he is known to frequent the northwest and western suburbs of Melbourne.

Police believe Barbaro could now be travelling in his white 2009 Toyota Hiace van, registration, 1OZ 8PC.

He is described as being approximately 185cm tall with a solid build, black hair and olive complexion.

Detectives are calling on Barbaro to come forward and make contact with police himself.

Police have also warned anyone harbouring or assisting Barbaro that they could face criminal prosecution.

EARLIER @ May 7: A nationwide manhunt is underway for a Gold Coast member of a notorious crime family following the suspected murder of a young mother in Melbourne.

The body of 26-year-old Ellie Price was found in her Park Street apartment on Monday after officers were called to the home to conduct a welfare check.

Detective Inspector Tim Day told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that Ms Price appeared to have suffered a “significant assault”.

Homicide Squad detectives are now hoping to track down Ricardo ‘Rick’ Barbaro, who the young mother is believed to have been in an on-off again relationship with since October last year.

The 33-year-old man’s last known address is Southport on the Gold Coast, however Detective Day says he is known to frequent the northwest and western suburbs of Melbourne.

“Detectives from both the Homicide Squad and Fugitive Taskforce, along with a number of other police units, have conducted a significant search over the past three days in an attempt to locate Barbaro, however have been unsuccessful,” Victoria Police said.

Anyone who has seen Mr Barbaro or his white 2009 Toyota Hiace van with registration 1OZ 8PC is being urged not to approach him but to contact triple zero immediately.

Ms Price’s vehicle, a white 2017 E 350 Mercedes sedan with pink number plates and the registration 22ZERO, is also missing from her property.

PHOTO: Victoria Police

Mr Barbaro is described as being approximately 185cm tall with a solid build, black hair and olive complexion.

“We believe, and it’s not uncommon, that he would have had contact with family and friends… There will be family and friends who know where he is and where he is going. My warning is to those people is they do not want to put themselves in jeopardy of an accessories charge by harbouring him or assisting him at this point in time,” Detective Inspector Day said.

Detectives are also calling on Barbaro to come forward and make contact with police himself.

“I’m also appealing to Barbaro himself to contact investigators and hand himself in… To use this opportunity to contact us early to help resolve this matter.”

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