Tattoo a sad reminder of 'soul mate'

CAITLIN Powell's love for Jethro Matheson was so intense, she went and got his initial tattooed on her ankle.

But Ms Powell's time with her “soul mate and best friend” has been cut short, and the tattoo is now a poignant reminder of the bond they shared.

Police found Mr Matheson's body in the Border Ranges National Park, north of Kyogle, on January 30, after he had been missing for two weeks.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police and the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad are now searching for his killer.

The Brisbane man was last seen at a Condong property on January 15.

The next day, police raided the property and seized more than $3 million worth of cannabis.

Ms Powell yesterday admitted Mr Matheson didn't have the best track record, but said she was still proud to have been a part of his life.

She said he had recently been trying to leave the drug scene behind.

“Yes, he made mistakes,” Ms Powell said yesterday.

“But these last few months he was changing so much, he wanted to settle down, have a family and remove himself from the drug scene.”

She said Mr Matheson's lifestyle was a product of the environment he grew up in, back in Yeppoon in Queensland.

“He did what he did to survive, to him it was all he knew,” she said. “It was the environment ... which made him the person he is.

“He did not deserve (to die like) this.”

Ms Powell, who lives in Brisbane, would not comment on her partner's involvement with Mr Grant or his connection to the Murwillumbah area.

Instead, she spoke of a man who was there for her when her life had hit a devastating low point.

“He was my partner and I loved him. He was my soul mate, my best friend,” she said.

“When I met him I was a mess - lost, confused and just wanted to die. He picked me up.

“If it weren't for him I would be the one in his position.”

Ms Powell's Facebook website describes her thoughts at the time Jethro went missing until the day police identified his body.

There is uncertainty and fear, followed by heartache.

In what can now be seen as a chilling omen, he once told her in a poem that they would be together “til death setz us free.”

The circumstances surrounding the 30-year-old's death remain unclear.

There is speculation he was shot because gunshots were heard in the Condong area on January 15, but the official cause is yet to be determined.

Police are also still searching for another man, Barry Grant, 52, who disappeared from the Eviron Road property the same day as Mr Matheson.

Mr Grant, who lives at the property, hasn't made contact with friends and family members, which is considered out of character for him.

A white Toyota Landcruiser registered to him was found burnt out in Condong and police have since seized the vehicle for forensic examination.

Anyone with information on the men is asked to contact Tweed Heads police station on (07) 5536 0999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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