Man to be charged with murder over death of Yiel Gatluak and calls for info about a video

January 15, 2024 1:09 pm in by

A man is set to be charged with murder after the body of a 19-year-old man was discovered near Alice Springs on New Year’s Day.

A female driver found Yiel ‘Yoal’ Gatluak’s body along a stretch of Undoolya Road at about 12.30pm, on January 1st, sparking a police investigation.

A 22-year-old man, who was arrested in Victoria on Saturday is being extradited to Alice Springs, where he is expected to face court on one count of murder today.

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Two men, aged 21 and 17, who were taken into custody in the NT last Monday, have now been charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

A fourth man, aged 20 who was also arrested last week, has been released pending further investigations.

It’s understood all of the men are known to the deceased and lived in Alice Springs.

Assistant Commissioner Travis Wurst says police now know how the 19-year-old man died.

“At this stage the forensic pathologist has advised us that the cause of death relates to blunt force trauma,” he says.

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“As I have said previously there aren’t any penetrative wounds.”

The Assistant Commissioner says police are working to find a video that is believed to have been shared among a small group of people in Alice Springs.

“It may be a video that is including an assault that may have occurred upon the deceased person,” A/C Wurst says.

“Northern Territory Police are yet to see that video, its veracity is yet to be determined.”

Anyone who has the video or information about it is being urged to contact police.

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“It will be a significant piece of evidence in assisting us in making sure that those persons that are now charged with this offence are brought to justice,” A/C Wurst says.

He says investigations into the alleged murder are ongoing, with Victoria police assisting NT authorities.

“Around some forensic technical examinations of aspects of the vehicle that was seized by police early in this investigation.”

It is understood the Ford Ranger Wildtrak Ute was driven around from the early morning to afternoon on New Year’s Day and was not in the owner’s control at that time.

A/C Wurst says Mr Gatluak’s family have been informed of the latest developments.

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“They’re very pleased that police have thoroughly investigated this matter…obviously they’re well aware that the matter is now before the court, it’s up to the court as to where this matter is taken from here.

“They are very appreciative of the ongoing contact, the support, the communication that’s been constant in relation to what’s been happening.

“That has actually greatly assisted us in making sure that the community is on this side of the investigation and not against us.”


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