Report – By David Muri in Mount Hagen
An Australian tourist has been brutally murdered and his Filipino girlfriend pack raped in the Papua New Guinean Highlands city of Mt Hagen, police said.
Highlands Divisional Commander Teddy Tei said the victims were murdered about 2am on Monday after being in the city for only 10 days since April 4.
Tei identified the dead man as Purdy Robert Peter Lawrence, 53, of Melbourne, Australia. Lawrence was shot with a pistol at point blank. He died instantly.
Tei said the couple were residing at a house owned by Banz Kofi at Kagamuga while the owner of the property was away in Australia.
He said the body of the dead man was at Mt Hagen General Hospital morgue while the Filipino woman who is in shock and was examined by doctors.
Tei said around seven to 10 men gained entry to the house by jumping over a brick wall. He said no valuables were taken from the house.
The police commander said there were previous incidences of intrusion into the property, adding the owner would be interviewed once he returned from Australia to establish possible leads.
“The motive of the killing of this innocent Australian is not known at this moment nor the identity of the killers,” Tei said.
“We are investigating this very serious incident which is likely to have severe ramifications on the country’s image.
“I condemn the actions of these animals. This is inhumane.
“The tourism industry is generating revenue for the country and such killings will continue to hamper the industry,” he said.
Tei said the Banz Kofi owner could have been the target in the incident. He has appealed to the people of Western Highlands and Jiwaka to come forward with information that might lead to the arrest of the suspects.
“I want these animals to be brought to justice. They are a liability to the nation,” he said.
Source: PNG Post-Courier