true crime

No one had spoken to Martin for years. Then police made a gruesome discovery.

With AAP.

Martin Meffert lead a transient life. He was not one to call regularly or check in with family. Months would go by without a word.

His three siblings, whom had spent much of their childhood apart, in the care of relatives or the foster system, adopted a “no news is good news” approach to their 23-year-old brother, The Sunday Mail reported.

Then, in October 2013, news.

Martin’s bones had been found in their cousin’s home in Terowie, a small town in South Australia’s mid-north. Police had been searching the property on an unrelated matter when they found partial skeletal remains inside a bag sitting in a plastic tub in the fireplace – in plain sight.

That cousin is Christopher Travis Scott, 30, who today – after a renewed investigation by South Australian police – finds himself in custody, charged with Martin’s murder.

Martin was last seen on February 8, 2005, when he boarded a bus to travel from Adelaide to Terowie, but was never reported missing.

Police now believe he lived there for somewhere between a few days to a few months before his was killed.

Yet for years afterward, his fortnightly disability support pension continued to be withdrawn from ATMs in the area; about $130,000 in total between 2005 and 2013.

Police on Friday interviewed two people in relation to the theft and appealed for further information on the identity of a man filmed accessing Martin’s account after his death.

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Though he was just 16 at the time of the alleged murder, Christopher Travis Scott has been charged as an adult.

It’s hoped that his arrest could lead to the discovery of the rest of Martin’s remains.

“We believe that after Martin’s murder he was buried and was shifted at least once, possibly two times so it is possible that Martin’s remains are at either one of those burial sites,” Major Crime boss Superintendent Des Brayy told reporters.

“There is a reward of $200,000 offered in connection with this case, not just for information leading to a conviction, but for information which allows us to find the rest of his remains.”

In a statement on Friday, Martin’s father thanked police and urged anyone with further information to come forward.

“Martin was a dearly loved and missed son and brother,” he said, “and although I am relieved that a person has been arrested for his murder, I will not find more relief until the person is behind bars for the rest of his life.”

Christopher Travis Scott has been refused bail and will face Port Pirie Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Anyone with information that would assist the investigation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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