Mathew Dunbar murder: Natasha Darcy-Crossman refused bail, charged with murder of Walcha farmer Mathew Dunbar

Investigations continue: Mathew Dunbar died on August 2, 2017. Photo: Supplied
Investigations continue: Mathew Dunbar died on August 2, 2017. Photo: Supplied

NATASHA Beth Darcy-Crossman has been refused bail in court, charged with the murder of her late-partner, Mathew Dunbar.

According to police, Darcy-Crossman is alleged to have murdered Mr Dunbar in the early hours of August 2 at Pandora, off the Thunderbolts Way, on the outskirts of Walcha.

The 42-year-old, who appeared on charge sheets as Natasha Beth Darcy, made an application for bail on Sunday morning in an out-of-sessions hearing in Tamworth Local Court, through Legal Aid duty solicitor, Garry Johnston.

But the application, which triggered a show cause hearing because the serious nature of the murder charge, was refused by the court.

Darcy-Crossman was remanded in custody and will reappear in the same court on Monday.

Detectives from Strike Force Ballin – the police operation led by Oxley detectives probing the suspicious death – completed a search of the Pandora property on Saturday.

Police said investigations are continuing.

Charges laid: Natasha Darcy-Crossman, pictured left, has been charged with the murder of her late-partner, Mathew Dunbar. Photo: Supplied

Charges laid: Natasha Darcy-Crossman, pictured left, has been charged with the murder of her late-partner, Mathew Dunbar. Photo: Supplied

UPDATE: Detectives have now charged a woman with the murder of her partner three months ago in Walcha.

Oxley detectives charged Natasha Darcy-Crossman with the murder of the 42-year-old farmer on Saturday night – about 12 hours after she was arrested in Walcha.

Police will allege she murdered the popular Walcha local at his sheep property, off the Thunderbolts Way, just out of Walcha, on August 2.

She was refused bail on Saturday night by Oxley police and will front a bail hearing in Tamworth Local Court on Sunday morning.

Police said investigations by Strike Force Ballin – the police operation set-up to investigate Mr Dunbar’s suspicious death – are continuing.

Property raid: Walcha Sergeant Anthony Smith cordons off the Pandora property near Walcha with crime scene tape on Saturday morning as police search the home. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Property raid: Walcha Sergeant Anthony Smith cordons off the Pandora property near Walcha with crime scene tape on Saturday morning as police search the home. Photo: Gareth Gardner

EARLIER: A woman has been arrested and detectives are scouring a property near Walcha as part of a murder investigation into the suspicious death of a popular farmer.

The Northern Daily Leader was there as Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman was led into Tamworth Police Station, seated in the back of a marked Walcha police car, shortly before 11am on Saturday.

She was arrested at 9.30am by Oxley detectives in Walcha who are investigating the death of her late partner, Matthew Dunbar.

Mr Dunbar, 42, died at his sheep and grazing property, Pandora, off Thunderbolts Way, in the early hours of August 2.

The Leader revealed shortly after that police were investigating Mr Dunbar's death as a possible murder, with the homicide squad called in from Sydney to assist local Tamworth detectives, who set-up a strike force to probe the suspicious death.

On Saturday morning, shortly after Ms Darcy-Crossman's arrest, detectives executed a crime scene warrant at the Pandora property with investigators seen scouring the house, and searching part of the roof.

Officers were also seen carrying a drum and a bag of evidence into a police vehicle.

It's the second time the property has been raided as part of the police investigation.

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The Northern Daily Leader understands Darcy-Crossman is in custody and is being questioned on the circumstances surrounding the death at the property.

A post-mortem was carried out on Mr Dunbar's body shortly after the August 2 death, after a crime scene was set-up on the property.

Oxley police were unable to comment on Saturday when contacted by The Leader, but issued a short statement confirming the woman’s arrest.

“A woman has been arrested in relation to the suspicious death of Mathew Dunbar in the Northern Tablelands three months ago,” the spokesperson said.

“Emergency services responded to reports of an unresponsive male at a home on Thunderbolts Way, Walcha, about 2am on Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017.

“Despite the efforts of NSW Ambulance paramedics, 42-year-old Mathew Dunbar died at the scene.

“Strike Force Ballin was established by detectives from Oxley Local Area Command assisted by the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Dunbar’s death.

“Following extensive inquiries, a 42-year-old woman was arrested and conveyed to Tamworth Police Station about 9.30am today.

“She is assisting with inquiries.”