Homicide Squad detectives are appealing for public assistance and have released CCTV of two vehicles of interest, as part of ongoing investigations into the death of a man in Sydney’s south-west earlier this year.
About 6pm on Saturday 30 January 2021, emergency services responded to reports of a vehicle fire on Hume Road, Smithfield.
Fire and Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the blaze, before police located the body of a man inside.
The man was formally identified as 22-year-old, Mejed Derbas.
Officers from Cumberland Police Area Command commenced initial inquiries before detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Bettington.
As those inquiries continue, police have released CCTV of a man captured in the vicinity of Hume Road, as well as two vehicles of interest seen in the surrounding areas before and after the murder.
Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said both vehicles – a black coloured Mercedes-Benz sedan and a GLA250 station wagon – are of interest to investigators.
“We believe the Mercedes sedan may have been used in the leadup to Mejed’s murder and is depicted travelling on Hilltop Road at Merrylands about 5pm on the afternoon of his death, and again later that evening on Mona Street at South Granville,” Det Supt Doherty said.
“The GLA250 station wagon – which has not been recovered – is depicted shortly before 6pm on Hume Road travelling behind the Kia Sorento, which was located burnt out and containing Mejed’s body a short time later.
“A man dressed in dark clothing and holding what appears to be a yellow-coloured jerry can is then seen to run toward that vehicle, before it leaves the area.
“Anyone who may have information about the man’s identity, or any of the vehicles depicted in the CCTV, would be of great assistance to investigators and I urge them to come forward,” Det Supt Doherty said.
Investigators have also released images of a serrated knife which was located within the crime scene on Hume Road.
“We believe this knife may have been dropped by the person or persons responsible for Mejed’s murder before they left the scene,” Det Supt Doherty said.
“After analysing the information we have received so far, we believe this murder relates to an internal conflict within one organised criminal network.
“Regardless of lifestyle, nobody should die in such a cruel and callous manner, and the family of Mr Derbas deserve some answers.”
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Bettington investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.