Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Second arrest made over 1999 death of Canberra grandmother

A 68-year-old Melbourne man has been arrested today over the 1999 bashing death of Canberra grandmother, Irma Palasics – the second arrest made in an investigation that has spanned more than 24 years.

Police say that at around 9.30pm on 6 November 1999, two men forced their way into the McKellar home of elderly couple, Gregor and Irma Palasics. The couple were bound and savagely beaten before the men ransacked their home and stole cash and jewellery. Irma did not survive her injuries and died at the scene. 

What followed was a significant investigation, with multiple avenues of inquiry considered, ACT Policing said today. 

Following a review of the investigation and other outstanding cases in 2021 a new investigative strategy was commenced. This ultimately led to the arrest of a 68-year-old man (pictured, above) in Melbourne on 20 September 2023, who was charged with one count of murder. 

A second man is taken into custody on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, ACT Policing investigators, with the assistance of Victoria Police, attended a residence in the Melbourne suburb of Endeavour Hills and arrested the 68-year-old man. He faced the Dandenong Magistrates Court yesterday, where his extradition to the ACT was granted. He is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates Court today charged with one count of murder.  

Detective Superintendent Scott Moller (pictured, above) from ACT Policing’s Unsolved Homicide and Long Term Missing Persons team said the second arrest was the culmination of a significantly complex investigation and was deeply gratifying for all involved. 

“This investigation has spanned across several years, with our team of investigators having worked tirelessly to ensure the Palasics family were provided with answers,” Detective Superintendent Moller said. 

“While the first arrest in September was tremendously satisfying, being able to provide comfort for Irma’s family and the Canberra community with the second and final arrest this week is what all of the investigators worked towards. 

Gregor and Irma Palasics.

“I would like to thank all the officers and support staff who worked on this case over the past 24 years for their commitment to bringing those allegedly responsible for Irma’s death before the court.  

“There is no more traumatic experience than having to deal with the senseless murder of a loved one, so to the family of Irma Palasics,  we are pleased to provide this outcome.” 

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