Pair on murder charges after ‘gentle’ man dies

TWO people have been charged with the murder of Rodney Willis, 74, who died in his home at The Rock last week under mysterious circumstances.

A man and a woman, both in their early 20s, will appear before Wagga Local Court today.

Police revealed yesterday they had been investigating a homicide.

Mr Willis was found in cardiac arrest at his Scott Street home on Wednesday, about 11.30am.

Police confirmed officers went to a Railway Street address at The Rock at 1.05am yesterday.

They arrested a woman and a man aged 23 and 25 respectively, and they were later charged with murder and refused bail.

An ambulance service spokeswoman initially said Mr Willis had had a fall.

However, a police statement yesterday confirmed Mr Willis had suffered head injuries.

His body has since been sent to Sydney for a post-mortem examination.

Members of The Rock community groups have remembered Mr Willis as a man who was clever, private and good-humoured.

The Rock and District Men’s Shed secretary Kevin Verdon describing his friend as “gentle and an avid reader”.

The arrests came only two days after the completion of the forensic examination of Mr Willis’ home and meanwhile police had interviewed his friends and neighbours.

Some time before the arrests, Wagga Local Area command released the image and name of a man with strong links to The Rock on its Facebook page, warning the public to contact police immediately if he was sighted. The post has since been removed.