Murder accused had moved in with parents for lockdown
THE son of a much-loved Brisbane couple allegedly bludgeoned his parents to death with a sledgehammer after returning from Sydney to isolate at the family home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detectives are trying to determine why Christopher Puglia, 31, allegedly snapped and killed parents Franco and Loris Puglia in such a brutal manner, in what is being described as a "very, very traumatic" murder scene.
He had recently returned from Sydney to isolate with his parents in the family home at Joyner as COVID-19 restrictions began closing state borders.
The bodies of Franco and Loris Puglia, both 59, were discovered inside their home, which they also used as a bed-and-breakfast, by relatives on Sunday afternoon. The relatives had planned to visit the Puglias that evening.
Police began searching for Christopher, the eldest of two sons, who they allege fled the scene in his father's car on Saturday evening after allegedly beating his parents to death.
Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said that Christopher moved home earlier this year. He had been living and working in Sydney as a car detailer.
"He may have moved away and moved back this year, but of course the circumstances of that are also being looked at," he said.
Police will investigate whether Christopher had been affected by drugs in recent months, amid reports there had been arguments between the couple and their eldest son.
Det Supt Fleming confirmed there had been a disturbance at the couple's Joyner home in March, but said the reason for the alleged killings remained unclear.
He said that police had been called to the home on only that occasion. It is understood the call related to a minor scuffle.
"We are very much interested to know why this has happened," Det Supt Fleming said.
"We obviously will be looking at the history, but there's nothing that jumps out right at the moment that overtly says this was a foreseeable event."
Det Supt Fleming said the pair died from blunt force trauma to the head. He said what was thought to be the murder weapon was still in the home when police arrived.
CCTV obtained by police showed Puglia had travelled to the Gold Coast on Saturday evening, where he spent the night on Shillito St, Southport, in his dad's 2020 model Toyota Rav4. He then crossed the state border to NSW early Sunday morning before he was arrested by NSW police, on behalf of the Queensland Police Homicide Unit.
Puglia is due to face a NSW court today, with his extradition to Queensland expected in the coming days.
Anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage in or around Joyner, in particular on Lake Samsonvale, Forman Rd, Forman Park, and Youngs Crossing Rd is urged to contact Policelink on 131444.
Chris Puglia is believed to have left the family home in his father's new 2020 model white RAV4.
The car remains in Shillito St, Southport, overnight.
Family members discover the bodies of Loris and Franco Puglia inside their Joyner home.
The RAV4 is seen in New South Wales.
Queensland Police provide their NSW counterparts with a warrant for his arrest
and Chris Puglia is taken into custody.
Chris Puglia fronts a NSW court so police can apply for his extradition to Queensland.
He is charged with two counts of murder and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Originally published as Murder accused had moved in for lockdown