Police recover 62-year-old man's body from Wild Rivers National Park near Armidale

Difficult terrain: Local police as well as forensic officers at the staging area for the operation in the Wild Rivers National Park near Armidale.
Difficult terrain: Local police as well as forensic officers at the staging area for the operation in the Wild Rivers National Park near Armidale.

A FORENSIC pathologist will examine the body of a man that was found in a shallow grave in a national park east of Armidale.

The massive police operation to recover the remains – involving PolAir, local officers and forensic police – was sparked after a family member alerted police more than two hours away that the 62-year-old man had died at a remote campsite near Hillgrove.

It took a number of days for police to find the campsite in the Wild Rivers National Park, after the family directed officers to the area.

The 62-year-old man had been living in the park and died, but was not discovered for some time until his family, who live in Tamworth, went to check on him.

It’s understood his family buried him. The Leader also understands part of his body was handed into officers in Tamworth, sparking the initial investigation, but police won’t be drawn on it.

Remote operation: PolAir was deployed from Sydney to assist local police and forensic officers to locate the human remains in the Wild Rivers National Park.

Remote operation: PolAir was deployed from Sydney to assist local police and forensic officers to locate the human remains in the Wild Rivers National Park.

“On Sunday 16th July, police at Tamworth received a report in relation to a deceased male in the Wild Rivers National Park,” New England Inspector Roger Best  said.

“The report was received from a family member of the deceased.” 

New England police were alerted but could not access the site, with extra resources including trained forensic police and the police helicopter deployed to back up officers on the ground.

“Police were flown into a remote campsite where human remains, believed to be the body of a 62-year-old man, were discovered,” Inspector Best said. 

Police believe the remains to be that of a 62-year-old man who was living a remote lifestyle in the national park and had been deceased for some time.

New England Inspector Roger Best

“The remains were found in a shallow grave.

“Family members who had located the deceased directed police to the site.”

Police set up a crime scene, which was combed by forensic officers before the body was removed.

“Police believe the remains to be that of a 62-year-old man who was living a remote lifestyle in the national park and had been deceased for some time,” Inspector Best said. 

“Police don’t believe there are any suspicious circumstances.

“However, the remains of the body will be examined by a forensic pathologist and a report will be prepared for the coroner, who will determine the cause of death.”

Inspector Best said it was a difficult operation but praised police who trekked through remote terrain to recover the man’s remains. 

He said investigations into the death continue.