Unsolved Homicide Team charges man over alleged 2004 murder at Lakemba

A Queensland man will appear in court today charged by Homicide Squad detectives over the alleged murder of a south-western Sydney man twenty years ago.

On Sunday 8 February 2004, 34-year-old Jason Palmer was reported missing having been last seen leaving his home on Baltimore Street, Belfield, two days prior.

Officers from Campsie Police Area Command commenced inquiries into his whereabouts.

Three weeks later, on Sunday 29 February 2004, a body was found weighed down with rocks and submerged in the Nepean River at Menangle.

A post-mortem examination determined Mr Palmer died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

Local police and Homicide Squad detectives conducted numerous inquiries at the time; however, no one was charged over his murder.

Following a 2007 inquest, the NSW Coroner determined, Mr Palmer’s death was caused by stab wounds inflicted by a person at a unit on Barremma Road, Lakemba, and the case was referred to the Unsolved Homicide Team for re-investigation.

In 2022, detectives from the Unsolved Homicide Team commenced an assessment of the investigation which led to the re-investigation under Strike Force Blair.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 52-year-old Queensland man following a vehicle stop on Benson Road, Ingleburn, just before 2pm yesterday (Monday 17 June 2024).

He was taken to Campbelltown Police Station and charged with one count of murder.

Police will allege in court that the two men were known to each other.

The man was refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court later today (Tuesday 18 June 2024).

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty, paid tribute to the persistence and focus of detectives in what was a complex investigation.

“It’s been 20 years since Mr Palmer, who was originally from the UK, is alleged to have been murdered. He was a husband and father, and police had always remained hopeful of an arrest.

“This arrest once again demonstrates that investigators will not rest until there’s a resolution for unsolved matters, and to provide answers to families,” Det Supt Doherty said.

As inquiries under Strike Force Blair continue, detectives believe that members of the community may have information that could assist this investigation and urge they make contact with Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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