Tributes flow for Walcha farmer Mathew Dunbar after found off Thunderbolts Way; Oxley police investigating

Tributes flow: Mathew Dunbar, 42, is being remembered as a kind and gentle man who was a friend to many. Photo: Walcha News

Tributes flow: Mathew Dunbar, 42, is being remembered as a kind and gentle man who was a friend to many. Photo: Walcha News

A MUCH-loved farmer ‘who would give you the shirt off his own back’ is being remembered by friends, after the shock discovery of his body near Walcha.

Mathew Dunbar’s death has rocked the Walcha community, where he had lived for much of his life. 

He was found dead at his farm off the Thunderbolts Way, just out of town, in the early hours of Wednesday, as specialist police and Oxley detectives combed the house for a second straight day on Thursday.

Neighbour Dianne Heazlett told The Leader Mr Dunbar was a “very kind, generous, gentle and helpful person”.

“You only had to say you were doing something and he would be there,” she said.

He was a quiet man, but a very good friend to us, and he will be sadly missed by us and everyone who knew him well. - Neighbour Dianne Heazlett

“He was a quiet man, but a very good friend to us, and he will be sadly missed by us and everyone who knew him well.”

Mrs Heazlett said Mr Dunbar was involved in the local poultry industry, and The Armidale School (TAS) Old Boy had farmed the 1300-acre sheep property since leaving school.

Crime scene: Oxley police at the home off the Thunderbolts Way near Walcha. Photo: Vanessa Arundale

Crime scene: Oxley police at the home off the Thunderbolts Way near Walcha. Photo: Vanessa Arundale

‘Pandora’ was declared a crime scene shortly after police and paramedics arrived at 2am on Wednesday, following a Triple Zero call for a 42-year-old male who was unresponsive.

The Leader understands specialist investigators have been deployed to assist Oxley detectives in their probe, with officers remaining tight-lipped on much of the case. 

A post-mortem will be conducted. The circumstances surrounding the death will form part of the report that is prepared for the coroner. - Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd

“A post-mortem will be conducted,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said. “The circumstances surrounding the death will form part of the report that is prepared for the coroner.”

Close friend Tony Housden said Mr Dunbar was just one of those “rare guys who would do anything for anyone”.

He was just so giving of everything he had, just the nicest guy. - Close friend Tony Housden

“He was just so giving of everything he had, just the nicest guy,” he said.

Friend Kerrie Bloomfield had only been speaking to Mr Dunbar on Tuesday.

“He had a sore leg, he was at the doctors the day before having it checked,” she said.

“He was a real gentleman, one of the nicest people you could meet and he was involved in a lot of stuff.”

Mr Dunbar would have been 43 in November.

Oxley police were continuing to investigate Mr Dunbar’s death on Thursday night with investigators speaking with several people as they piece together the circumstances surrounding the death.

Deceased: Mathew Dunbar. Photo: Fairfax Media

Deceased: Mathew Dunbar. Photo: Fairfax Media

SHOCK DISCOVERY

AN INVESTIGATION is underway after a man died on a property near Walcha.

Police remain at the crime scene off Thunderbolts Way, outside of the town, following the discovery of the man’s body on Wednesday.

Fairfax Media can reveal Oxley police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Mathew Dunbar’s death.

The 42-year-old farmer, and popular Walcha local, was found unresponsive at the property in the early hours of Wednesday.

“At about 2am on Wednesday, police and ambulance paramedics were called to a home on Thunderbolts Way at Walcha after reports of an unresponsive 42-year-old male,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd told Fairfax Media.

At about 2am on Wednesday, police and ambulance paramedics were called to a home on Thunderbolts Way at Walcha after reports of an unresponsive 42-year-old male. - Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd

“Emergency services arrived to find the man to be deceased.”

Police immediately set-up a crime scene and detectives were called in to take charge of the investigation.

Fairfax Media understands specialist investigators have been deployed to assist Oxley detectives in the investigation.

“A post-mortem will be conducted,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.

“The circumstances surrounding the death will form part of the report that is prepared for the coroner.”

Police were still at the scene on Thursday morning and investigations continue.

More to come.

The story Tributes for farmer after body discovered | Update, photos first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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