A hatchback car linked to the bikie-related murder of a man in Adelaide’s north has been found burnt out and buried five metres underground at a rural property owned by the Hells Angels, police say.
For two days, officers searched the 15-hectare property at Ponde in South Australia’s Murraylands for the car involved in the murder of Mark Boyce, 36, in Elizabeth South in January 2017.
Police were also looking for two guns used in the fatal shooting of three Rebels bikies 20 years ago.
Police earlier held a press conference saying they were frustrated they had failed to find the items and the search was being called off, but the car’s wrecked remains were located and recovered just after 5:00pm.
“Late [Wednesday] afternoon, we’ve been very fortunate in one of the remaining search areas to find the Toyota Echo we’ve been looking for,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.
“It’s buried approximately 15 feet deep in an area adjacent to a rubbish tip. In the context of the Mark Boyce investigation, this is a significant find.
“It’s one of the vehicles that we think the offenders went to the scene in, and they left the scene in that vehicle.”
One man was convicted over Mr Boyce’s death, however police believe two other Hells Angels members were also involved.
An Adelaide court heard Mr Boyce was repeatedly kicked, punched and stomped on and his life support was turned off eight days after the attack.
Superintendent Bray said while the car had been substantially damaged, he expected police to gather enough evidence to pursue their investigation.
“It’s been set on fire to totally destroy it but we’ve found sufficient identifiers on the vehicle to be able to confirm 100 per cent it’s the vehicle that was used in the murder,” he said.
Police used ground-penetrating radar and an excavator to search the property for evidence.
A tip truck allegedly stolen from Pooraka in 2008, a rifle, a shotgun and a small amount of ammunition were located on Tuesday.
Police said the weapons were being forensically tested.
Another tip truck taken from Two Wells in 2001, a ute allegedly stolen from Magill in 2000, and a small bobcat were discovered on the property on Wednesday.
Police said 35 sites of interest and 42 structures were the focus of Wednesday’s searches, with local police assisting STAR Group officers and the Crime Gangs Taskforce.
They said a man who ran from the property when officers arrived on Tuesday has been spoken to but not been charged.
The Hells Angels-owned property is known for hosting the Ponde Music Festival, the Ponde Burnouts and the Ponde Sand Drags.
Police had hoped to find two pistols used to shoot Graham Nixon, 33, Sinibaldo Palombi, 35, and Hubert Western, 32, outside the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) clubrooms in Wright Street in Adelaide in 1999.
Mr Nixon and Mr Palombi died at the scene of the shootout and Mr Western died in hospital five days later.
Two members of the Hells Angels OMCG were arrested, but charges were later withdrawn, due to lack of cooperation from Rebels members.
“Both investigations linked to this week’s search are challenging cases, but we have not given up hope of being able to resolve them over time,” Superintendent Bray said.