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‘Very afraid’: Jackson Stacker fell sufferer to seedy Byron Bay underbelly, household consider

4 years in the past, the badly decomposed physique of lacking Melbourne man Jackson Stacker was discovered facedown in bushland at Byron Bay with a 30-centimetre looking knife caught in his chest, his head 13 metres away.

NSW Police concluded it was probably the 25-year-old, who lived in his van whereas browsing and partying at drug-fuelled “bush doof” raves, died by suicide.

Mates described his behaviour within the weeks main as much as his demise as more and more erratic and emotional, and he had reportedly talked of suicide — however his household insists he didn’t take his personal life.

“I immediately thought it was homicide, that was the primary thought my thoughts went to,” Jackson’s cousin, Ishtar Kenny, born and bred in Byron Bay, advised 9’s 60 Minutes on Sunday night time.

“I’ve heard of various issues happening in Byron in the previous couple of years the place all of the younger folks have been very afraid as a result of they’ve been concerned in one thing. They didn’t realise what it was, after which they’ve been threatened or stuff like that. So I do know it could possibly occur in that space as effectively.”

As a coronial inquest prepares at hand down its findings into Jackson’s demise, Ian Stacker and Sandey MacFarlane say they consider their son might have fallen sufferer to Byron Bay’s seedy legal underbelly.

“[The police’s] evaluation of him was that he was [a] homeless, alcoholic, drug person that they’ve simply present in a paddock,” Ian advised this system.

“That evaluation was made fairly rapidly. And he was none of these issues. He was undervalued as a human being due to how he was discovered. And I feel that the sensation was, you understand, ‘We’ll simply tick this off as a suicide.’ A knife within the chest, I feel, means that maybe it wasn’t a suicide.”

Ms MacFarlane stated “nothing made sense” about his demise. “I spoke to him the final day he was alive and he was positive,” she stated.

Ian remembered his son as “somebody actually wanting ahead to simply going off on an journey, which is what it was meant to be”.

“He simply noticed the world a bit in a different way,” he stated. “He was not materialistic, though he wasted cash on some loopy jackets generally. It’s exhausting to know what he was doing there. He was off on this mission and I felt, ‘Nice. Go and have a ball.’”

Ms MacFarlane final heard from her son on July 22, 2021. She says there was nothing that involved her about their last dialog.

“His message to me was, ‘Mum, I’m so nice. I’ve by no means been happier,’” she stated.

“, ‘I’m hanging out with numerous actually fantastically clever folks.’ They have been simply having a superb time, having a beer and simply chilling out or sitting on their roofs and simply listening, taking part in music and browsing, watching the sundown.”

Nonetheless, Jackson’s buddy, Callum Whitehead, advised the coronial inquest earlier this yr he did appear upset that day and had thrown a bicycle on the Predominant Seaside automobile park in Byron Bay earlier than crying.

Ms MacFarlane transferred Jackson $300 three days after their final dialog with the message “please name mum”. When he didn’t reply to thank her she started to fret.

His household referred to as police after they have been contacted by somebody asking to purchase his van after seeing it deserted on the Sleepy Hole relaxation space close to Pottsville, north of Byron Bay on the Pacific Freeway.

Two days later, on August 26, 2021, police discovered Jackson’s physique in a discipline, 120 metres away from his ransacked Toyota Hiace.

Ms MacFarlane agreed one thing modified within the final month of Jackson’s life, and that he had recounted moments the place he acquired actually upset.

“I feel he was feeling utilized by sure people who have been borrowing his van,” she stated.

Mates blamed his emotional ups and downs on his use of LSD and marijuana.

Mia Kidis, who first met Jackson on the Premstock commune within the Daintree Forest in far north Queensland, advised the inquest that he had beforehand taken LSD and hashish and it didn’t “react effectively with him”.

She stated he would cry or have low moods about 3 times per week and had been badly affected by a murder-suicide involving somebody they knew.

Nonetheless she additionally described him as having a “lust for all times”, saying he was a “very charismatic, a really energetic and pleasant particular person”.

Jackson had been hospitalised previously for drug-induced psychosis, however Ms MacFarlane stated she didn’t put a lot inventory in experiences he had talked to pals about killing himself.

“Jackson had no filter,” she stated. “He would inform me if that was one thing that he was feeling. He had by no means really ever talked about suicide to me.”

A mecca for schoolies, backpackers and celebrities like Chris Hemsworth, the area has additionally seen quite a few mysterious deaths lately, together with Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez, 18, who disappeared on an evening out in 2019.

Jackson’s mother and father worry he was concerned with criminals and drug customers who make up a part of the huge homeless neighborhood across the Northern Rivers coastal city.

They consider somebody from that circle might have been concerned in his demise.

“We expect that maybe he acquired concerned with, at this [bush] doof, somebody within the drug commerce that had left some stuff in his van,” Ian stated.

“, Jackson left that doof prematurely, and left behind just a few people who he transported there. Simply the way in which that his van was discovered — it was completely trashed. It was prefer it had been strip searched. We expect there’s been an altercation between him and these folks. I don’t know what the altercation was, or the way it may probably find yourself in him in a discipline with a knife in his chest.”

Police discovered Jackson’s physique below a tree carrying his favorite fur coat, his scalp and dreadlocks round 13 metres away.

Officers additionally discovered a container of oil, matches, a lighter, a beanie, a roll of duct tape and a blueberry vape, the inquest heard.

Additional away they discovered his unzipped boots.

When his van was searched, his laptop computer, cellphone and digicam have been lacking.

Jackson’s mother and father have beforehand accused police of doing a shoddy job within the preliminary search of the realm the place his physique was discovered.

When Ms MacFarlane went to go to the location of her son’s demise she uncovered one among his enamel below a leaf.

It raised questions concerning the thoroughness of any earlier police search, and coroner Teresa O’Sullivan ordered a brand new line search by officers on fingers and knees.

Three finger bones have been present in that search and have been confirmed to belong to Jackson.

In February, the ABC reported two law enforcement officials linked to early investigations into Jackson’s demise have been on prolonged sick depart and a 3rd had left the power and was refusing to provide proof to the inquest.

In one other gorgeous twist on Sunday night time’s program, the 60 Minutes crew discovered themselves a part of the story after stumbling throughout a semi-buried cell phone close to the place Jackson’s physique was positioned.

The cellphone was handed to Bryon Bay police by 9 producers. It’s not but recognized whether or not it belonged to Jackson.

However his mother and father say Jackson’s cellphone is a key piece of the puzzle.

His Samsung was not discovered on his physique, however per week after he died it was booted up 200 kilometres away close to Grafton, pinging off numerous cell towers over the subsequent 4 days earlier than returning to the Byron space the place it was final detected on August 2, 2021.

“If it was with him, then another person was there, as a result of the cellphone moved,” Ian stated. “If it wasn’t with him, then who took it?”

Nobody has been charged in relation to Jackson’s demise.

Former murder detective Gary Jubelin, nevertheless, stated after evaluating the case he believed police had come to the right conclusion.

“Any suspicious demise must be handled as a murder till you’ll be able to show in any other case, and looking out on the steps that the police have taken throughout the course of this investigation, I feel from a really early stage, they have been it as a possible murder,” he advised 60 Minutes.

“Trying on the transient of proof being introduced by the police on this event, it was a radical transient of proof.”

Mr Jubelin stated he didn’t need to be “overly crucial” of police for lacking issues.

“We’re speaking a tooth in bushland like this,” he stated.

“Issues do get missed. It’s not a perfect state of affairs. [It] doesn’t look nice, and I feel the police can be feeling unhealthy about that, however I’ve been concerned in quite a few searches for stays and it is extremely troublesome and issues can get missed.”

The previous detective stated the cranium being discovered away from the physique was not essentially indicative of foul play.

“It’s horrific if you suppose the cranium is 13 metres from the skeletal stays and different physique components,” he stated. “Sadly, that’s nature at work, you understand there’s numerous animals round right here and I don’t discover it uncommon.”

The coroner is but to find out Jackson’s method of demise.

Her findings are anticipated to be introduced in coming weeks.

“What would he need?” Ms MacFarlane advised 60 Minutes.

“What would Jackson need? That’s what I ask myself every single day. What would he need? He would need us to be joyful. And we’d like to search out his fact. As a result of that can make us joyful.”

— with NCA NewsWire

Learn associated matters:Melbourne

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