Crime fighter charged over tent murder
A HOMELESS man who once ran vigilante anti-crime patrols in Victoria is among three people who have been charged over the horrific murder of a woman whose body was found in a burning tent.
Maddison Parrott, a 29-year-old former retail store manager from Waurn Ponds, was found dead at the Breakwater Road camping grounds in Geelong, about 74kms south west of Melbourne, shortly before 2am on Tuesday.
The Geelong Advertiser reports that Ms Parrott was shot in the head before her body was moved to the showgrounds and later burned, according to sources.
Emergency services made the grisly discovery soon after they were called to the site and extinguished the fire. News.com.au understands it took more than a day to identify the victim because she was burned beyond recognition.
According to The Age, Ms Parrott had been living in a glamping-style tent at the Breakwater site, since the recent breakdown of her marriage.
Heavily armed police arrested 31-year-old homeless man and self-professed crime fighter Nick Cross, as well as a 31-year-old Bell Park woman and a 34-year-old man from Colac in Sydney on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Cross has been charged with murder and the other two suspects have been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Footage aired by Seven Network showed the trio being questioned by detectives and assessed by paramedics while handcuffed on the front lawn of the Greystanes home.
The trio is due to be extradited to Melbourne this afternoon after appearing in Fairfield Magistrates' Court in NSW earlier today.
In 2016, Mr Cross led an unsanctioned community watch group in Geelong's north, who patrolled the streets and documented their findings online, after a rise in crime.
"My house was targeted in August, I started doing patrols after that because of the fear in my daughter's eyes,' he said at the time.
"There are six men who patrol every night but every one pitches in."
The controversial group folded soon after senior police voiced serious concern over their activities.
At the time, Mr Cross said he had a "sketchy past" and that he may have spent time growing up on the streets of Geelong.
"When I was growing up you knew your neighbours, you put your bins out for your neighbours, you looked out for each other. That doesn't happen anymore," he said.
- With AAP