Man charged after young mother’s burned body found in Gold Coast yard
An estranged partner has been charged with the murder of a young mother who was found dead in a Gold Coast backyard with burns to her body.
Police found the body of Kelly Wilkinson, 27, at the home in Arundel about 6.40am after neighbours reported hearing screams and the sound of an explosion.
Ms Wilkinson’s estranged partner Brian Johnston, 34, was found in a semi-conscious state on a front lawn several blocks away.
He was taken into custody earlier today and has since been charged with Ms Wilkinson’s murder.
Neighbours told police they saw a man run from the scene injured and bloodied.
“He turned up in the bushes in the house next door to me – his left arm was heavily bandaged,” one neighbour told 9News.
Officers allege Mr Johnston fled down Spikes Court, ran 250 metres along a busy road and headed up a hill to a different backyard.
“(A passerby) saw the fella and asked you know, ‘are you okay mate?’ He made some remark like, ‘I’m fine’, but he had his head down,” the neighbour said.
Paramedics gave Mr Johnston treatment for his burns before rushing him to Gold Coast University Hospital.
Detective Inspector Chris Ahern said earlier today a forensic examination of the home is underway.
“One of the lines of inquiry is the male person located and the deceased female person were known to each other and were potentially in a previous relationship,” he said.
Police spent today canvassing the area with 15 officers, including forensic investigators and homicide detectives, at the home.
Rubbish collection on surrounding streets was halted as officers looked for other potential pieces of evidence.
“There may be further evidence that has left that scene,” Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said.
“Our intention is to lock that area down and determine (whether that is the case).”
The family of Ms Wilkinson has set up a fundraiser to assist with funeral preparations and care for her children.
It has already raised over $6000 of its $20,000 donation goal.
“We are trying to raise money to pay for the funeral, the kids schooling and all other costs,” the fundraiser reads.
Mr Johnston has been refused bail and investigations continue.
Anybody with information is urged to contact police at Policelink, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.