Five years ago Rodney Larcombe was brutally killed in his own Warradale home. The 65-year-old’s body was found by his sister in his Kildonan Rd home on November 28, 2013, but police believe he was murdered the night before – probably between 5pm and 8pm.
The nature of his injuries were such that detectives are of the view his killer was angry or quite frenzied at the time, Detective Brevet Sergeant Rod Huppatz, from the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, told Crime Stopper’s TV partner Channel 9, today.
Police have previously released CCTV footage, recorded by an outside camera on a house close to the victims address, but on the other side of the road, in which a number of people can be seen walking along Kildonan Road on 27 November.
The road provides access to Marion Shopping Centre so the foot traffic can be quite heavy in the area, but police are keen to identify a number of men who walked past the area around the time Mr Larcombe was killed.
Detective Brevet Sergeant Hupautz said despite the vision being released by police and being available on YouTube for a number of years, none of the men had been identified, or had come forward to police yet.
Police have interviewed a number of people in relation to this matter, with two of those of particular of interest to police, but there is insufficient evidence to progress the matter.
“The offender was either allowed into the house, or simply entered through an open, unlocked rear door – there’s no sign of forced entry at the property,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Huppatz said.
“The victim does have some criminal history, which I would suggest to the public should not influence their decision about coming forward to us.
“This is a murder investigation and we are keeping an open mind about all possibilities.”
Mr Larcombe was known to be active in the gay community, and police are aware he may have had lawful, consensual visitors to his house that they would also be interested in hearing from.
“We know that people and their relationships change over the years and that the passing of time can help us,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Huppatz said.
“Someone who may not have felt comfortable speaking with us five years ago may now be willing to do so.
“There is a reward of up to $200,000 for anyone who is able to provide information that leads to a conviction in this case.
“There is a mystery about what happened at this house between 4 and 8pm on the 27 November, and it’s hard to believe that no one saw anything.”
The unsolved murder case is one of the cases being investigated as part of Operation Persist – the ongoing Major Crime-led strategy managing cold cases in South Australia.
SA Police do not ‘close’ unresolved murder cases and use a range of options, including targeted media interviews such as the item featured on Channel 9 tonight, to highlight cases and appeal for public assistance.
Anyone with information about the men in the video, or about this murder, is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://crimestopperssa.com.au/ – you can remain anonymous.