Detectives believe a prominent community figure found dead in his northern NSW farmhouse may have been murdered.
Police and paramedics were called to a home on Thunderbolts Way at Walcha at 2am on Wednesday following reports of an unresponsive 42-year-old male.
By the time they arrived he was already dead.
The man, named by Fairfax Media as Matthew Dunbar, is a recognisable face in the small country town.
A crime scene was established with homicide squad detectives brought in to the case late Friday, police told AAP.
Friends paid their respects to the "caring" and "humble" Mr Dunbar online.
"This is so sad, Mathew was a great person, very humble and kind with a heart of gold," one friend said.
"Heaven has opened its door to a very special angel. RIP my friend Matt."
A post-mortem examination will be conducted and police will prepare a report for the coroner.