Brothers charged with murder of Byron man

March 18, 2010 by J-Wire
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Two brothers are facing court over the murder of John ‘Jack’ Garda, a Byron Bay businessman and son of a Holocaust survivor.

Garda , 54, went missing in February and his body was found in a shallow grave earlier this month at Broadwater, 30 meters from the Pacific Highway.

A family friend told J-Wire: “John was in almost daily contact with his mother who is a resident in a Jewish care facility in Woollahra. I don’t believe he was married. This news has had a shattering effect on his mother.”

J-Wire understands that other residents in the Home have been advised of Garda’s murder.

Media reports state that Garda, who went missing on February 8, had asked friends “to call the cops” before he left for a meeting. It was the last time he was seen alive.

Chabad Rabbi Moshe Serebryanski told J-Wire that Garda had been known to him and that he had “readily identified himself as being Jewish”.

Garda, who lived in the hinterland ran the Byron Bay Newsroom ar Sunrise Beach and a grocery store according to media reports.

38-yr-old Kevin Purtill has been charged with his murder. His older brother Warren, 46, had been jailed on fraud charges relating to the use of Garda’s credit cards and was found to be in possession of the deceased’s laptop. The Northern Star reports that he has been subsequently charged with being an accessoray after the fact to murder.

A spokesperson for the local community told J-Wire that it was expected that Garda would be cremated “probably at Tweed Heads”

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