Police and SES conducting a search around Shaws Bay in relation to a death nearby last month.
Police and SES conducting a search around Shaws Bay in relation to a death nearby last month.

Stolen mobile vital in Ballina murder investigation

FORENSIC officers from Richmond Police District were joined by State Emergency Services volunteers in a search for evidence around Shaws Bay at Ballina today.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the line search which involves a meticulous examination of the ground and surrounding vegetation is in relation to the death of East Lismore man Jesse Vilkelis-Curas.

The investigation into the incident under Strike Force Tancred continues after the 24-year-old was taken off life support at Gold Coast University Hospital on Boxing Day, five days after he was involved in an alleged attack in Ballina.

"Police will allege at the time of the incident a mobile phone was stolen and they are searching for it in the vicinity of the Shaws Bay area," she said.

"A teenage male is currently at Ballina Police Station assisting with inquiries and more charges are expected to be laid."

Police have appealed to the public in case someone has found the phone or has other information which could help, she said.

"If any member of the public has any information or found a phone nearby please contact the Ballina Police Station."

Yesterday police arrested an 18-year-old at Cupania Court, Tweed Heads West, at 6.30am.

The man was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with murder and assault occasioning death.

He was refused bail and is expected to face Tweed Heads court.

Another 22-year-old man from Ballina was charged with affray on Tuesday.

Richmond Police District crime manager, Chief Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay said more people were expected to be charged with affray and other offences in the coming days regarding this matter.

Chief Insp Lindsay said Ballina detectives were undertaking extensive inquiries in relation to the incident.