Police confirm skull found in forest belongs to missing father, but is it linked to baffling case of an unidentified torso discovered just 50km away?

  • A skull found in the forest of the Tin Can Bay area, north of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, has been identified as missing Gold Coast father Shaun Barker
  • Mr Barker, 33, who was last seen on December 10 with friends and associates at a service station at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast
  • His family reported him missing a month later, after he didn't get in touch at Christmas
  • Police are not ruling out the possible link between the Barker case and that of an unidentified torso found 50km away near Gympie in September last year

Police have not ruled out possible links between a young father's suspected murder and a headless torso found north of Brisbane last year.

A skull found in the Tin Can Bay area, north of the Sunshine Coast, has been identified as that of missing Gold Coast father Shaun Barker.

Forestry workers made the discovery on April 10 in a remote location dotted with hoop pine plantations. A subsequent search uncovered other skeletal remains in a shallow pit about 95m from where the skull was found.

Police have no firm leads in the suspected murder of Mr Barker (pictured) and it has not been revealed how Mr Barker, who was the father of a young child, died

Police have no firm leads in the suspected murder of Mr Barker (pictured) and it has not been revealed how Mr Barker, who was the father of a young child, died

Shaun Barker¿s skull was discovered in a forest in the Tin Can Bay area on Friday just 53km from where the unidentified man¿s torso was found in Gympie in September

Shaun Barker¿s skull was discovered in a forest in the Tin Can Bay area on Friday just 53km from where the unidentified man¿s torso was found in Gympie in September

A subsequent search uncovered other skeletal remains in a shallow pit about 95m from where the skull was found.

Police confirmed on Friday that the remains belonged to Mr Barker, 33, who was last seen on December 10 with friends and associates at a service station at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.

His family reported him missing about a month later, after he failed to get in touch with them over Christmas.


Gold Coast Detective Acting Superintendent Brian Swan said there could be a link between the Barker case and another presumed murder - that of an unidentified man whose charred torso was found on a roadside about 50 kilometres away in September 19, 2013.

The headless remains, with arms severed at the elbows and nothing left below the rib cage, were found burnt at Cedar Pocket, near Gympie.

Mr Barker¿s skull was found by forestry workers in a remote location dotted with hoop pine plantations in the Tin Can Bay area on April 10

Mr Barker¿s skull was found by forestry workers in a remote location dotted with hoop pine plantations in the Tin Can Bay area on April 10

'At this point in time, we have no link between Mr Barker and that particular investigation, but of course we are keeping an open mind,’ Det Supt Brian Swan said who has been liaising with Sunshine Coast detectives.

Police have no firm leads in the suspected murder of Mr Barker and it has not been revealed how Mr Barker, who was the father of a young child, died.

Officers have reviewed CCTV footage of him with friends and associates at the Broadbeach service station, but the footage provides no clues about how he left and ended up dead hundreds of kilometres away.

‘They are of interest to the investigation but they are not suspects,’ Det Supt Swan said of the people who last saw Mr Barker alive.

Police are urging anyone with information about his final movements to come forward and they are also searching for his blue Kia Rio, with Queensland car registration - 518 TBV.

Det Supt Swan said police were looking into Mr Barker's background, but at this stage there was ‘no confirmed connection’ with criminal bikie gangs.

A torso with arms severed at the elbows and nothing left below the rib cage of an unidentified man were found burnt on a roadside at Cedar Pocket, near Gympie

A torso with arms severed at the elbows and nothing left below the rib cage of an unidentified man were found burnt on a roadside at Cedar Pocket, near Gympie

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Police confirm skull found in forest belongs to missing father, but is it linked to baffling case of an unidentified torso discovered just 50km away

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