Police charge two men over murder of New England man

Detectives investigating the 2010 disappearance of Darren Royce Willis have charged two men in connection with his alleged murder.

Mr Willis, then aged 45, was seen leaving the Imperial Hotel at Bingara on the evening of Friday 10 December 2010. Investigations have focussed on establishing his movements since that date.

Detectives from Moree Criminal Investigation Unit established Strike Force Barca to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Willis’ disappearance and suspected murder.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators executed two crime scene warrants at homes in the Bingara area yesterday (Friday 25 October 2019).

During the searches, police seized documentation, electronic devices, and other items relevant to the investigation.

Two men – aged 48 and 47 years – were arrested during the operation.

They were taken to Moree Police Station where the older man was charged with murder and the younger man with concealing a serious offence.

Police will allege in court that Mr Willis was fatally assaulted near his Bingara home before his body was disposed of at an unknown location.

Both men have been refused bail and appeared at Moree Local Court today (Saturday 26 October 2019), where they were also refused bail to reappear at the same court on Monday (28 October 2019).

New England Police District Commander, Superintendent Scott Tanner, thanked the community for their ongoing support throughout the investigation.

“Along with local police, the Bingara community has been heavily invested in finding out what happened to Darren, and we’ve received lots of information, which has proven invaluable to our investigation,” Supt Tanner said.

“Without their support and the meticulous work of Moree detectives, I don’t think we would be where we are today: two people before the courts on murder charges.”

Supt Tanner added that strike force detectives are continuing to conduct inquiries to locate Mr Willis’ body.

“While Darren’s family may feel some relief today, the news is somewhat bittersweet because they still haven’t been able to properly lay him to rest,” Supt Tanner said.

“Strike Force Barca will now focus on providing those final answers to his family.”

Police are also reminding the community that a $350,000 NSW Government reward remains in place for information in this case.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Barca investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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