WHOROULY man Michael Cardamone fronted Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with the murder of Karen Chetcuti.
Police allege that Mr Cardamone murdered Ms Chetcuti “on or about” January 12.
The 49 year old Whorouly resident was reported missing last Wednesday when she failed to turn up to work.
Her body was found on Monday at about 1.35pm in scrubland off Croppers Creek Road near Lake Buffalo, outside of Myrtleford.
Mr Cardamone has been in custody since his arrest on Sunday when his vehicle was monitored by police Air Wing and he was apprehended at Ringwood at 6am.
He was subsequently questioned by the Homicide Squad and a search warrant was executed on his property that became a crime scene.
The 48 year old suspect faced an out of sessions court hearing overnight on Monday when he was charged with one count of murder.
Appearing at Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Mr Cardamone was wearing a white t-shirt and black tracksuit pants, with visible tattoos on his arms.
His face was expressionless, often bowing his head in the dock, flanked by two police officers.
Defence counsel of the accused, Geoff Clancy, addressed Magistrate John O’Callaghan, who presided via video link from Wodonga.
Mr Clancy attempted to suppress a second charge that Mr Cardamone allegedly breached parole, on the basis that it would publicise his previous criminal record.
He also wanted any previous charges to be suppressed from publishing on the grounds of prejudice.
“It would be prejudicial for a potential jury pool,” Mr Clancy said.
“Charges should be suppressed until such a time there is a finding of guilt.”
Police Prosecutor Mario Eliades said he has no view in relation to the media application for specific information.
However, he did note that the accused had already personally told the press of his criminal history.
Magistrate O’Callaghan allowed the publishing of Charge 2 that Mr Cardomone allegedly breached parole.
But he suppressed the details about any past charges and/or convictions.
No application for bail was made and Mr Cardamone was remanded in custody to appear at Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court on September 8.
A good friend of Ms Chetcuti’s was present in the courtroom and family of Mr Cardamone’s were also in attendance.
Ms Chetcuti was last seen attending the Whorouly Hotel at 7.20pm on Tuesday night and police began their investigation on Wednesday when notified of her disappearance.
Police attended Ms Chetcuti’s home that evening and discovered her car missing, but her handbag and purse were in the house, and the lights were on.
Ms Chetcuti’s car was found hours later, set alight on Halls Road in Myrtleford at 5.15am Thursday.
The investigation immediately became a Missing Persons case, assisted by the Homicide Squad.
A wide scale search consisted of police airwing, K9 Unit, Search and Rescue, SES, local police, and government departments, to locate Ms Chetcuti.
Resources searched for five days in the Myrtleford and Whorouly areas from Thursday until she was found deceased on Monday.
This post is part of the thread: Karen Chetcuti murder investigation – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.