Father of murder victim says son was 'a good boy'
Speaking from his home in the central Queensland coastal town of Yeppoon, Mr Matheson had tears in his eyes as he talked about his son, who was found murdered in the Border Ranges National Park, near Kyogle, last week.
Clutching the one photograph of Jethro he owns, an old faded image of a younger man, Mr Matheson struggled to deal with the tragedy.
“At least they found the body,” Mr Matheson said.
Jethro Matheson’s death is believed to be related to the discovery of a hydroponic cannabis crop at Condong, with an estimated potential street value of more than $3 million.
A murder inquiry was launched after his body was found in bushland off Creegans Road at Wadeville last Friday.
Police had been searching for Jethro, 30, as he had not been in contact with family or friends since he was last seen at the Condong property on January 15.
A number of gunshots were reported in the area on that day.
Denis Matheson last saw his son on Father’s Day last year, when Jethro stayed with him for four days. He described the stay as a jovial one. “We talked a lot,” he said.
Jethro was born at Yeppoon and attended Yeppoon High School.
A fondness for fishing, swimming and surfing continued throughout his life and Denis said he had even bought a new boat recently.
“He was a good boy,” Mr Matheson said.
Jethro left Yeppoon about five years ago to move to Brisbane.
Describing Jethro as mostly a loner, Mr Matheson said he still had close mates he kept in contact with in the area.
Jethro’s mother, who now lives in Mackay, is making the funeral arrangements. He also has a sister in Rockhampton.
Police are appealing for help to locate Barry Grant, 52, who is connected to Jethro and disappeared at the same time.
Tweed/Byron police crime manager Inspector Greg Carey yesterday ruled Mr Grant out as a suspect in Jethro’s death.
“Barry Grant is not a suspect or a person of interest at this stage,” Insp Carey said. “Our concerns are for his welfare.”
Insp Carey said a white Toyota Landcruiser with a blue canopy had been found burnt out in the Border Ranges National Park and was registered to Mr Grant.
He would not comment on the relationship between Grant and Matheson.
Insp Grant would also not say whether Mr Matheson’s body was found with gunshot wounds, just that police were awaiting the results of a post mortem examination.
Police are chasing leads at Tweed Heads, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. Anyone with information on the case should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.