Suspect Charged For Fatal Stabbing Of Young Coffs Harbour Surfer  - Stab Mag

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Suspect Charged For Fatal Stabbing Of Young Coffs Harbour Surfer 

21-YO Kye Schaefer was killed getting changed into his wetsuit at 6:40 in the morning.

elsewhere // Jun 5, 2024
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A man has been charged with the alleged murder of 21-year-old surfer Kye Schaefer, following a month-long investigation. Schaefer was fatally stabbed on May 2 at the Park Beach Reserve car park in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

Schaefer, who had been surfing at a nearby spot known as “Parkie,” was still in his wetsuit when he was found with multiple stab wounds. Emergency services were called to the scene, and Schaefer was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

The investigation, led by the New South Wales State Crime Command Homicide Squad, resulted in the arrest of 36-year-old Matthew Willacy. According to reports by the Australian Associated Press, Willacy was known to police and is believed to be homeless and living in the area. He has also been charged in connection with an unrelated robbery that occurred around the same time and location as Schaefer’s attack.

Credit: Britt Ramsey/ABC news

Homicide Squad Commander Daniel Doherty commended the efforts of both homicide detectives and the Coffs-Clarence Police District. “It’s been a month’s worth of dedicated, determined investigative work,” Doherty said. The evidence gathered includes witness accounts, CCTV footage, and forensic analysis, which Doherty described as forming a strong circumstantial case.

The investigation remains ongoing, and police are urging anyone with information or dash cam footage to come forward. Authorities are still searching for the murder weapon and a bicycle that Willacy was believed to be riding on the morning of the stabbing.

As for the motive, Doherty suggested in an interview with Sydney radio 2GB that the attack may have been a robbery gone wrong, describing it as “unprovoked and violent.”

Willacy appeared briefly in Coffs Harbour Local Court on Tuesday and is scheduled to return to court on August 13.

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