Man charged with murder after woman found dead with burn injuries in Gold Coast backyard | Queensland

A man has been charged with murder after the burned body of mother-of-three Kelly Wilkinson was found in a Gold Coast back yard.

Queensland police on Tuesday evening said they had charged a 34-year-old New Beith man with murder and breaching a domestic violence order.

The man remains under police guard in Gold Coast University hospital and his case will be heard on Wednesday morning at Southport magistrates court. The man was earlier arrested near the property on Spikes Court in Arundel.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family and pay for Wilkinson’s funeral.

Det Insp Chris Ahearn on Tuesday said Wilkinson and the man were known to each other.

“The male person we located and the deceased female person were known to each other, and potentially in a previous relationship,” Ahearn told reporters. “So that is the subject of one of the avenues of our ongoing investigation into this matter.”

Neighbours reported raised voices coming from the home about 6.40am on Tuesday.

“It was obviously a very confronting scene, a female person deceased in the rear yard of a residence, apparently suffering from burn-type injuries,” Ahearn said.

Three children, all under the age of nine and present at the time of the incident, may have witnessed Wilkinson’s death. All three are safe and will be interviewed as part of the investigation.

The 34-year-old man was found semi-conscious with serious burn injuries on a lawn two blocks away. The man had burns to his hands and may have internal burns in his airway, police said.

Ahead earlier said the man’s burn injuries may have been caused by an attempt at self-harm and he could be moved to a Brisbane hospital for additional treatment.

Police spoke with local residents and stopped rubbish collections because potential evidence could have been dumped in a bin.

The discovery comes after Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke, 31, was doused with petrol and set alight by her estranged husband while in her car with her three children in February 2020. All four died of their injuries.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org

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