Couple may have been murdered with sledgehammer

 

 

A COUPLE allegedly murdered by their son north of Brisbane may have been dead at least a day before their bodies were found.

Franco and Loris Puglia's bodies were discovered by a relative in their Joyner home near Strathpine about 2pm Sunday.

Their 31-year-old son Chris Puglia was arrested in Sydney about 6.30pm yesterday and charged with their murders.

It's understood police are investigating whether a sledgehammer was used as the murder weapon.

Court papers in Puglia's case showed he allegedly murdered his parents on Saturday, the day before their bodies were found.

Puglia was arrested without incident on the M1 at Berowra, in Sydney travelling in a Toyota Rav4.

Homicide squad detectives charged the man with two counts of murder and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police are appealing for members of the community to come forward as their investigations continue.

Motorists travelling between Joyner, the Gold Coast and Ku-rin-gai in New South Wales between Saturday evening and 6.30pm last night have been asked to come forward with any information regarding a white 2020 model RAV4 as a part of Operation Sierra Tamarind.

Investigators have asked anyone with dash cam footage to contact police.

Queensland detectives have travelled to Sydney this afternoon and will appear before the court seeking extradition for the accused tomorrow morning.

 

 

The car was seized and will undergo forensic examination.

Mr Puglia was refused bail and his extradition hearing adjourned to tomorrow in Parramatta Local Court, to allow officers from Queensland to attend.

Police allege Chris Puglia fled the scene in his dad's SUV, which was later spotted by CCTV cameras at the Gold Coast.

Police said Puglia, who they believe acted alone, spent a considerable amount of time on the evening of Saturday, May 16, at Shillito St, Southport, where he is thought to have stayed overnight in his vehicle before crossing the New South Wales border, where he was later arrested by police in Karangi.

According to Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming, police had been called to the home in March of this year over what's thought to have been a minor family dispute.

"I wouldn't say we would look back in hindsight and ask why something wasn't done," he said.

Det Supt Fleming this afternoon confirmed the pair were killed by blunt force trauma, however he would not comment on the murder weapon out of respect for the family.

He expected the extradition to Queensland would take several days and said police would follow all relevant COVID-19 health advice in regards to the isolation of Puglia.

 

Frank and Loris Puglia were found dead in a bed and breakfast north of Brisbane. Picture: 9 News
Frank and Loris Puglia were found dead in a bed and breakfast north of Brisbane. Picture: 9 News

 

Magistrate Rodney Brender today ordered Chris Puglia be placed in the custody of NSW Corrective Services until tomorrow's hearing.

The pair were found at their Joyner home - a property named Serendipity Gardens - which was used as a bed and breakfast with guests commenting on the abundant wildlife and 'relaxing' retreat.

Guide Dogs Queensland have this afternoon paid their respects to Mrs Puglia, who was an employee at the organisation.

In a statement, CEO Michael Kightley said Mrs Puglia was a much loved member of the Guide Dogs Queensland community and her tragic death had deeply impacted her colleagues.

"Guide Dogs Queensland family is deeply saddened by the death of Loris and her husband Frank," the statement said.

"We are sending our love and support to their family and friends during this difficult time. Loris was a much-loved member of the Guide Dogs family and we are offering support to her colleagues who have been deeply impacted by this tragedy."

Police remain at the Puglia's home, a 6000sq m property that is fully fenced and private thanks to the well-established gardens and trees.

The couple bought the single-storey home in 2014 and listed it for sale last year, with Mrs Puglia telling The Courier-Mail that "every day I feel like we've escaped the hustle and bustle without going too far".

Police block the street where two bodies were found. Picture: John Gass
Police block the street where two bodies were found. Picture: John Gass

Reviews on the Serendipity Gardens Facebook page describe Mr and Mrs Puglia as 'such a lovely couple' who are 'so accommodating'.

"I would highly recommend you spend some time at Serendipity Gardens it's a very relaxed, comfortable and welcoming setting...fabulous for meditation, fantastic setting to get creative...great energy...positive vibes …," wrote one reviewer.

"I got surprising insights with my reading today by the budding entrepreneur Loris Puglia herself. I'm so happy and grateful I took the time out to focus on me for a change, Loris helped me to readjust, reassess, refocus and realign my journey through my vision board. Thanks so much again Loris."

Petrie Police Station has established an Investigation Centre. Anyone with information can call Policelink on 131 444.

 

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