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Man found dead in Barmah

by
November 13, 2017

Crime scene and forensic police have joined homicide detectives at a house in Barmah.

Crime scene and forensic police have joined homicide detectives at a house in Barmah.

Crime scene and forensic police have joined homicide detectives at a house in Barmah.

The house where the dead has been found is understood to be owned by Darren Thornburgh (pictured). IMAGE: Facebook

UPDATE 2.20pm: POLICE have ruled out foul play in the death of high-profile nightclub owner Darren ‘Razzle’ Thornburgh, whose body was discovered at his Barmah home on Monday afternoon.

At a police briefing a short time ago it was revealed a weapon had been found near Mr Thornburgh’s body.

After more than 36 hours of investigation police have officially declared his death as not suspicious.
That wasn’t the case when police first arrived at the scene around 4.30 Monday on what they described today as “a routine inquiry”.

The discovery of Mr Thornburgh’s body on his front veranda sparked a major crime scene, with homicide and forensic police from Melbourne travelling through the night to reach Barmah.

Mr Thornburgh has been the subject of police investigations, declared bankrupt following debts to the Australian Taxation Office and as recently as last year was selling million dollar plus real estate investments. He was also a significant property owner in Barmah, his hometown.

Last year the home of his ex-wife had also been the scene of early morning drive-by shooting, with shotgun blasts peppering the front of the upmarket Melbourne address.

More to come.

UPDATE 1pm: The police conference has been pushed back to 1.30pm.

UPDATE 11.19am: Victoria police has released a statement following the discovery of a body in the Barmah yesterday afternoon:

Cobram Crime Investigation Unit detectives together with the Homicide Squad continue to investigate the death of a man at Barmah yesterday.

The 53-year-old was located deceased at a property on Evans Street at about 4.10pm.

A crime scene was established and the exact circumstances surrounding the death are yet to be determined.

A post mortem will be conducted today.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

UPDATE 9.30am: The police conference has been re-scheduled for 11am.

UPDATE 9.17am: Fairfax Media has confirmed Mr Thornburgh was found dead at his property at Barmah yesterday afternoon.

UPDATE 9.09am: Police are yet to start the press conference. Stay tuned for more updates.

UPDATE 8.40am: Victoria Police will hold a press conference at Barmah at 9am. 

It will be the first official update following the discovery of a body in the small river town yesterday afternoon. 

The Riverine Herald will be live streaming the conference on its Facebook page.  

UPDATE 1.16am: Crime scene and forensic police have joined homicide detectives at a house in Barmah following the shooting death of a man there.

Police have not yet released the identity of the man, whose body was found with severe head injuries believed to be caused by a firearm on the veranda of the Evans St home around 4.30pm today.

And police have not yet made any statement to the media about reports the victim may be high-profile Melbourne nightclub owner Darren ‘Razzle’ Thornburgh, who is the owner of the home.

Last year the home of Mr Thornburgh’s ex-wife and daughter was blasted by a shotgun during an early morning drive-by shooting.

At the time the Herald Sun reported an organised crime gang chasing debts was suspected of being behind the shooting.

It said detectives labelled the shotgun attack on the former marital home of Darren “Razzle” Thornburgh as “cowardly” and “reckless”.

A vehicle outside was also targeted, all just a week after a shotgun was fired at Mr Thornburgh’s renovated Boutique nightclub in Prahran.

Detectives and uniformed police in Barmah have worked into the early hours of today combing the crime scene for evidence – with their search hampered at one stage by the automatic sprinkler system going off about 11pm last night.

Media at the scene were told there would be a press conference sometime this (Tuesday) morning.

UPDATE 10.55pm: A team of homicide detectives from Melbourne has arrived in Barmah to take over the investigation into a man found dead in a house here this afternoon.

Local police have had much of Evans St sealed off since the dead man was discovered on the veranda of the house about 4.30.

The house is registered in the name of high-profile Melbourne nightclub owner and investor Darren ‘Razzle’ Thornburgh.

It is understood Mr Thornburgh was also the owner of the Barmah Hotel and had been living a quiet and secluded lifestyle in the small riverside township.

But police have not yet confirmed he is the man found at the house, who is believed to have been shot.

The detectives have not yet said when they will be making any announcements.

UPDATE 9.45pm: Late last year the former wife of Boutique nightclub owner Darren "Razzle" Thornburgh was left shaken after shotgun fire peppered her luxury Port Melbourne house in a drive-by shooting in the early hours of Friday morning.

Police say Denise Thornburgh and her teenage daughter were asleep inside the upmarket, cream-coloured home on Beacon Vista, when five shots were fired at their home, about 4.45am.

At the time the Herald Sun reported an organised crime gang chasing debts was suspected of being behind the shooting.

It said detectives labelled the shotgun attack on the former marital home of Darren “Razzle” Thornburgh as “cowardly” and “reckless”.

A vehicle outside was also targeted, all just a week after a shotgun was fired at Mr Thornburgh’s renovated Boutique nightclub in Prahran.

The paper said the anti-bikie Echo Taskforce has been notified as police probe whether an organised crime gang was involved in both shootings.

Mr Thornburgh, who was declared bankrupt in 2011 owing the Australian Tax Office more than $100,000, sold a commercial property in South Melbourne late last year for $1.78 million.

It was around the same time he also relaunched Prahran nightclub Boutique.

At the time of his bankruptcy Fairfax Media reported Mr Thornburgh owned a fleet of luxury cars and lived in a hotel room at Crown Casino.

UPDATE 9.26pm: Homicide detectives are yet to reach Barmah following the discovery of a dead man in the small riverside town this afternoon.

However, reports are circulating the incident may be linked to a drive-by shooting in Melbourne last year and  a former high-flying nightclub owner who has been off the radar for the past 12 months.

The house where the dead has been found is understood to be owned by Darren Thornburgh. The Barmah hotel is also understood to be owned by Mr Thornburgh.

UPDATE: Police said it was far "too early" to comment on the circumstances after a man was found dead in Barmah this afternoon.

Homicide squad detectives are on the way.

EARLIER: A man has been found dead at a house in Barmah, according to Fairfax Media.

Police were called the Evans Street address about 4.30pm.

The man was dead when officers arrived.

Homicide squad detectives have been notified.

Police have not yet revealed the man's age or the cause of death.

The death, however, is being treated as suspicious, the report said.

More to come.

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