Body found in floating Bunnings cabinet in rural creek
When police first noticed a young Sydney man had vanished, they weren't expecting to find him floating down a rural NSW creek in a metal locker.
The gruesome discovery of the 22-year-old's body and an alleged cover-up involving a Brisbane man were revealed by police on Sunday following weeks of investigations.
The deceased man had been picked up by the police radar during a drug investigation in Sydney's southern suburbs but suddenly fell silent on April 27.
Inquiries revealed he was allegedly violently assaulted in a Peakhurst unit and suffocated to death.
The alleged killer, another 22-year-old man, is accused of calling in an acquaintance from Brisbane "as a cleaner".
A metal cabinet was bought from a Bunnings hardware store in Sydney before the body was bundled into it and the cabinet was driven nearly 500km to Macksville.
Police found the locker floating in Warrell Creek in Macksville on May 12.
The two assailants were arrested days later.
"It's just brutal," Homicide Squad Commander Virginia Gorman said on Sunday.
"(They were) just hoping this person would just disappear and no one would ever notice.
"This 22-year-old's family would be just horrified by the circumstances and the lack of concern for the young boy, even after he died."
The detectives involved had done an "outstanding job in really difficult circumstances" to notice the deceased man's disappearance, find his body and track down those involved within weeks, Detective Acting Superintendent Gorman said.
The murder was believed to have been sparked by a dispute over illicit drugs.
The alleged killer was arrested in Sydney on May 15 and later faced court on a murder charge.
He has been remanded in custody until a second court date on August 17
The Brisbane man was arrested during several raids across the Queensland capital on Wednesday.
He is expected to be extradited to NSW once Queensland charges are finalised.