Frantic calls after woman and man die in toolbox
The partner of a man found dead in a submerged toolbox south of Brisbane has emotionally told a court of her desperate attempts to contact him after his disappearance, not realising the "extraordinarily barbaric" circumstances of his death.
Miranda Parkinson, the partner of the late Cory Breton, held back tears as she described the last time she saw Mr Breton dropping her off at the airport on January 20, 2016.
Days after she left Brisbane, Mr Breton and Iuliana Triscaru were allegedly lured to a unit, assaulted, tied up and stuffed into a large toolbox that was then dumped in a lagoon at Scrubby Creek near Logan.
Ms Parkinson made frantic phone calls in a bid to reach him but would not learn of the grim circumstances of his death until a month later.
Police made the chilling discovery of the pair's decomposing bodies when the toolbox was pulled from the lagoon on February 11.
Four men - Trent Michael Thrupp, Davy Malu Junior Taiao, Stou Daniels and Waylon Ngaketo Cowan Walker - are on trial for the pair's murder.
Thrupp, Taiao and Daniels are also charged with two counts of torture.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Tuesday, Ms Parkinson told Brisbane Supreme Court the last time she saw her partner alive was as he dropped her at the airport with their daughter.
Ms Parkinson and her daughter flew to Newcastle and she last heard from him on January 23.
"I believe I called him, he missed the call and then returned it," Ms Parkinson said.
Ms Parkinson held back tears as she told the court of her attempts to call him, leaving voice messages in the hope he would answer.
"I couldn't tell you (how many times) … every couple of hours probably," she said.
She said she had been with Mr Breton for about 10 years and there had been "very few" times where he had been out of contact for more than 24 hours.
Ms Parkinson said she became concerned after Mr Breton did not pick her up from the airport on January 29.
Upon returning home in Logan, she said she had to break into the house through the bedroom window as she did not have a key.
"There were dog faeces, clothes scattered everywhere, the dogs were very distressed," Ms Parkinson said.
Ms Parkinson reported Mr Breton missing a day later.
On February 9, she took part in a media conference with Ms Triscaru's mother asking for information about the pair's disappearance.
Two days later, the toolbox was extracted from the lagoon at Scrubby Creek.
On Monday, crown prosecutor David Meredith said Breton and Triscaru likely died from drowning or asphyxiation.
He said if the facts of the case were true, the killing of the pair was "extraordinarily barbaric" and a "breathtakingly evil" act.
"These people were put into a toolbox and kept there for several hours, obviously fearing what might happen to them … (then) taken to a creek and drowned" Mr Meredith told the jury on Monday.
The court was told Breton was lured to the unit over a drug dispute, relating to a picture he had of Stou Daniels on his phone.
Defence lawyers representing all four men have raised concerns with key witnesses in the case, claiming they have histories of drug abuse and mental illness.
The trial, before Justice David Boddice, continues.
Originally published as Frantic calls after horror toolbox deaths