Murder charges after body found in Surfers Paradise
THREE men have been charged with murder after the death of a teenager at a Gold Coast tower over the weekend after what was originally believed to be an accidental fall.
The three men, aged 20, 22 and 18, have also been charged with two counts of armed robbery in company.
Cian English from Hawthorne in Brisbane's eastern suburbs suffered traumatic injuries when he fell from a balcony at the View Pacific resort in Surfers Paradise just after 3am on Saturday.
A passerby discovered the body and immediately called emergency services, who rushed to the scene where they found four other teens as young as 16 in a hotel room containing a large stash of prescription and other drugs, in varying states of consciousness.
They were taken to Robina Hospital for treatment for drug overdoses.
Police will allege a group of people from one unit armed with a knife attended another unit where a robbery occurred prior to the man's death.
Two more 16-year-old boys also connected to the party had earlier been arrested by police for unauthorised possession of prescription drugs.
They were later also treated by paramedics at Surfers Paradise Police Station after exhibiting symptoms of being affected by drugs.
It is understood drug utensils and a large quantity of diazepam, or Valium, was also found in the room.
Antics of the group in the hours leading up to the tragedy were reportedly filmed and broadcast on social media sites Instagram and SnapChat.
Detectives have taken a statement from a witness who heard a loud noise and then made the chilling discovery of Mr English's body lying at the base of the building.
Paramedics worked frantically to revive him, but there was nothing they do.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith, the regional crime coordinator for the South Eastern Region, called for any other witnesses to come forward to help paint a clearer picture of what happened.
A woman told The Courier-Mail she had seen the tragic night play out on Instagram and SnapChat.
"The videos I have seen, they are sickening and so very sad," she said.
"It's not in the best interest of this poor boy's family to see him like that."
Neil Stead, a senior operations supervisor at the Queensland Ambulance Service, said it was a terrible tragedy and no drugs were safe for recreational use.
"There were some kind of drugs involved in the situation which caused this incident to occur and drugs are simply not safe, even prescribed drugs," he said.
Toxicology tests will form part of the coronial investigation while police will also be tasked with investigating whether the gathering breached social distancing laws and other coronavirus restrictions.
At one point there were up to a dozen youths at the party, with groups staying in two rooms on different floors of the building.
The three men charged with murder and armed robbery in company will appear in court on Monday.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Murder charges after body found in Surfers Paradise