Murder charges over ‘complex’ Qld deaths


A 28-year-old Ipswich man has been charged with murder over the deaths of two people as police continue a “complex” investigation after a house fire south of Brisbane.

The couple’s bodies were found in the burnt-out remains of a Collingwood Park home on January 23, and post-mortem results later showed “evidence of violence”.

The 28-year-old was charged with two counts of murder and one count of arson on Sunday morning, Queensland police said in a statement.

Detective Inspector Heath McQueen is expected to make further comment on the investigation later on Sunday.

On Friday, he described the circumstances of the house fire and deaths of a 68-year-old woman and 73-year-old man as complex.

“Post-mortems have been conducted … I am unable to go into details other than confirming their deaths are suspicious, and not contributable to the fire, with evidence of violence,” Det Insp McQueen said.

The couple – who have been identified by colleagues on social media as Joe and Christine Stephan – were found in the lower level of the home that caught alight early last Sunday.