Reappeal after suspicious death of a Port Macquarie man

Detectives from Mid North Coast Police District are reappealing for public assistance as they continue to investigate the suspicious death of a man in Port Macquarie last month.

About 8.45pm on Tuesday 4 May 2021, emergency services responded to reports that a man had set fire to a chair on the balcony of a unit on Hill Street, Port Macquarie.

A short time later, officers found a man suffering critical injuries lying in a garden bed below the balcony. A fire extinguisher was located next to him.

NSW Ambulance paramedics attempted to revive the man; however, he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The man has since been identified as 54-year-old Steven Rausch.

Detectives attached to Mid North Coast Police District established Strike Force Fernyhough to investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that Steven died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Strike Force detectives are treating his death as suspicious and are urging anyone who may be able to assist with the investigation to come forward.

Mid North Coast Police District Crime Manager, Detective Acting Inspector Pete O’Reilly says there are still several lines of inquiry to follow in relation to Steven’s death.

“Strike force detectives are following up a number of lines of inquiry to determine how Steven received such traumatic head injuries and how he ended up below the balcony with a fire extinguisher by his side,” Det A/Insp O’Reilly said.

“Investigators have spoken to a number of residents from the unit block, however, are hoping to speak with further residents or visitors who were in the vicinity of Hill Street to come forward.

“Anyone who may have CCTV footage or who were driving in the nearby area between 7.30pm and 8.30pm and have dashcam footage is urged to contact police.”

Anyone with information about Strike Force Fernyhough is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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