Police have now charged four people with murder after a missing Colombian student vanished in Melbourne more than four months ago.
Over the weekend, police swooped on a Queensland trio as part of an investigation into the disappearance of Sergio Cuesta after he left a birthday party on September 16.
A 25-year-old Flagstone man was arrested at Melbourne airport on Saturday after arriving from Queensland, with police allegedly seizing a “quantity” of cash.
He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court the same day charged with the 28-year-old’s murder.
Two other Queenslanders, a 25-year-old Logan Reserve man and a 23-year-old Flagstone woman, were arrested in Brisbane over the weekend.
On Monday, Brisbane Magistrates’ Court approved their extradition to Victoria and both have been charged with murder.
They are expected to appear in Court on Wednesday.
Last week, police raided two properties in Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon, arresting two men in their late 40s.
Michael Jeffrey Frankland, 49, was charged with Mr Cuesta’s murder the following day, while a 48-year-old Cranbourne man was interviewed and released without charge, the Herald Sun reported.
Prior to his disappearance, Mr Cuesta had been living in an apartment on Queens Rd and held an expired student visa.
Police say he was known to be involved in the drug trade and had contact with people suspected to be involved in drug trafficking.
The last known sighting of Mr Cuesta was at Jabiru Drive in Chelsea Heights after a mate dropped him off there about 8pm on September 16 last year.
He had been out to dinner at a CBD restaurant for a birthday party when he received a call and asked a friend for the lift.
No trace of the Colombian national has been found.
He was reported missing on September 21 by a friend after she failed to hear from him for a few days.
“Sergio had also not made any contact with his family in Colombia, which was unusual as he often spoke to them daily,” a Victoria Police statement said.
“His disappearance is considered completely out of character.”
Victoria Police Detective Inspector David Dunstan said the Missing Persons Squad believed Mr Cuesta had met with foul play.
“We’re unsure why he was dropped off at that address and he hasn’t been seen since,” Inspector Dunstan said.
“At this stage we’re unable to locate Sergio and we’re appealing for public assistance to further the finding of Sergio.”
Mr Cuesta had spent time in Queensland in the weeks leading up to his disappearance, with police believing some Queenslanders may have information about why he made the trip.
He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black pants and black runners and is described as being about 170cm tall with a solid build and dark hair.
“We’re appealing to anyone in the Colombian community who may know what happened to Sergio or where he was going on that night … to come forward or speak to Crime Stoppers,” Inspector Dunstan said.