Suspicion hangs over death of Dalby man
POLICE are continuing to piece together the final moments of a Dalby father killed in a suspicious house fire last week.
The final moments of 45-year-old Mark Wilkes' life remain a mystery to friends and family in a community still coming to terms with his death.
Mr Wilkes was found dead after a fire tore through the lounge room of a two-storey timber home on Edward St, Dalby, about 10pm on January 20.
Repeated calls for witnesses to come forward has resulted in few new leads and Mr Wilkes' death is being treated as suspicious following the results of a post mortem examination at the weekend.
Now, Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown has added his voice to the witness appeal in an effort to bring closure to a community rocked by the suspicious death.
Cr Brown has called on residents to pass on information that may assist police.
"People need to be cautious because there are a lot of allegations out there," he said.
"A lot of people are saying a lot of things, and it's important that the correct information gets supplied to the police so they can do their job."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but police believe it was deliberately lit sometime shortly before 10pm last Wednesday.
Police have interviewed a number of people but as of yesterday afternoon had yet to identify a particular person of interest. Mr Wilkes' death has rocked the close-knit community that yesterday gathered to celebrate Australia Day.
Celebrations were somewhat dampened by the questions lingering over his death, the motive behind the fire and the identity of those responsible.
"Australia Day is certainly a day that we all do come together," Cr Brown said.
"But the general mood in Dalby, well… it was the discussion over breakfast.
"There is a lot of hearsay and what it important is that we let the police investigate as quickly as possible so there can be some closure for his family and friends."
Investigating officers have made repeated appeals for information.
Anyone that may have seen anything suspicious or out of character in Edward St or nearby areas the night of the fire is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.