The state’s homicide squad has been called in to probe the suspicious death of a Warilla teenager.
Jye McWatters’ lifeless body was discovered in his Kippax Street front yard about 1pm Saturday. Police have confirmed the 19-year-old was bleeding from an injury to his upper body.
Sources say the teen had been drinking with friends on Friday night and early Saturday morning.
What happened in the hours that followed is now the subject of intense police scrutiny.
Friends of the former Lake Illawarra High School student attended Lake Illawarra Police Station Monday as part of police efforts to piece together how he spent his final hours.
Homicide Squad Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw confirmed police were treating the death as suspicious.
“It’s suspicious by the sheer nature of it, the location of it, the information we’ve received,” he said.
“There are signs of injury, but the cause of death hasn’t been determined,” he said.
Police are awaiting the outcome of a post-mortem.
Insp Laidlaw confirmed the teen had suffered a visible injury to his upper body.
Some of the speculation surrounding Mr McWatters’ demise was unfounded, he said. “I can tell you there was no marks on his neck.”
Insp Laidlaw said the teen’s body was not deliberately concealed, however the layout and vegetation of the yard meant it was not immediately obvious. Many cars were parked outside the home on Monday as supporters visited Mr McWatters’ family.
Lake Illawarra police initially responded to reports of a man lying in the yard, Saturday. A crime scene was established and examined by specialist forensic officers.
The shock death has confounded communities on social media, where one mourner lamented the loss of a “beautiful life unexpectedly snatched away”.
“So sorry for his family, the shock must be devastating,” wrote another visitor to the R.I.P Jye Watters community.
A gofundme.com fundraiser to assist Mr McWatters’ family with the cost of his funeral is ongoing.