Couple acting suspiciously on South Australian bridge prompted new leads into murder investigation

Couple seen acting suspiciously on a bridge leads to intensive police search for a gun used in one of three mysterious drug-related murders

  • Couple acting suspiciously on South Australian bridge prompts intense search   
  • Led to discovery of bullets and search for gun used in one of three murders  
  • About 35 police personnel converged on Hutt River near Clare on Friday
  • Part of ongoing investigation into the suspected murder of Robert Atkins 
  • He went missing in 2020, his body believed to have been disposed near Orroroo

Two people acting suspiciously on a bridge in South Australia‘s mid-north have led to the discovery of bullets and prompted a major search for a gun used in one of three murders linked to the Adelaide drug trade.

About 35 police personnel, including members of a special task force, converged on the Hutt River near Clare on Friday in the ongoing investigation into the suspected murder of Robert Atkins.

The 29-year-old went missing in November 2020 and is thought to have been killed and his body disposed of somewhere near Orroroo, 275 kilometres north of Adelaide.

Robert Atkins (pictured), 29, went missing in November 2020 and is thought to have been killed and his body disposed of somewhere near Orroroo, 275 kilometres north of Adelaide

Robert Atkins (pictured), 29, went missing in November 2020 and is thought to have been killed and his body disposed of somewhere near Orroroo, 275 kilometres north of Adelaide

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said the couple were spotted on the bridge by a truck driver late last month.

‘It appears they became spooked on seeing the truck and left the area immediately and then returned a few minutes later when they thought there was nobody left to see them,’ Supt Bray said.

‘We know they got out of a vehicle and disposed of what we believe to be ammunition and also a firearm which we suspect may have been used in the murder of Robert.’

Detective Superintendent Des Bray (pictured) said the couple on the bridge acting suspiciously were spotted by a truck driver late last month. It led to the discovery of bullets and prompted a major search for a gun used in one of three murders linked to the Adelaide drug trade

Detective Superintendent Des Bray (pictured) said the couple on the bridge acting suspiciously were spotted by a truck driver late last month. It led to the discovery of bullets and prompted a major search for a gun used in one of three murders linked to the Adelaide drug trade

Since then police have recovered more than 100 bullets and ammunition packaging and hope to be able to recover DNA and fingerprints from the material.

Their ongoing search will concentrate on the river, with divers covering an extensive area by hand, and also an area of roadway between Clare and Spalding.

Supt Bray said detectives were confident they knew the identity of the couple and expected to interview them soon.

He said police believed they were disposing of evidence on behalf of a murder suspect.

Jeffrey Mundy (pictured), 36, was last seen in December, 2020. His body has not been found

Jeffrey Mundy (pictured), 36, was last seen in December, 2020. His body has not been found 

The murder of Mr Atkins is thought to have links to two other killings, those of Trevor King and Jeff Mundy.

Mr King, 41, was found dead at suburban West Lakes in January 2020 with police now believing his death was staged to look like a suicide.

Mr Mundy, 36, was last seen in December 2020. His body has not been found, with police suspecting it was disposed of somewhere on SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Up to 15 people are believed to have been involved in the murders and detectives are also checking another 200 drug overdose deaths since 2019 to determine if any more are suspicious.

Police suspect Jeffrey Mundy's (pictured) body was disposed of somewhere on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula

Police suspect Jeffrey Mundy’s (pictured) body was disposed of somewhere on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula 

In other inquiries into the death of Mr Atkins, Northern Territory police this week recovered an excavator and trailer, which they believe was stolen in SA in 2019 by those involved in his killing.

A 37-year-old man has been spoken to by police in relation to the excavator theft and is likely to be charged.

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