The grieving family of Canberra man Peter Keeley have said they are devastated by his death, as three teenagers have been charged over his alleged murder.
Police are investigating the possibility of a hate crime and have alleged Mr Keeley communicated with one of the teenagers via gay dating app, Grindr.
Two 17-year-old boys were arrested by police at their homes in Broulee on Thursday morning. The boys were later charged with murder over the death of Mr Keeley, whose bound body was found in bushland in Broulee on February 2.
Following further inquiries, a third 17-year-old boy was arrested at a home in the Broulee area just before 3pm on Thursday. He was later charged and faced court where he was refused bail.
Speaking to the media on Thursday morning, detective superintendent Danny Doherty said one of the teenagers allegedly used Grindr to communicate with Mr Keeley.
"One line of inquiry [into the death] was the method of communication used by the victim, and another was dating apps and one of them was Grindr," detective superintendent Doherty said.
Detective superintendent Doherty said a number of lines of inquiry were being investigated for a possible motive.
"The motive is still unclear but one has to look at other considerations such as whether there was any drug-related information or whether it was robbery related or whether it was in relation to some kind of hate crime," he said.
Strike Force Henrick was set up by homicide detectives and South Coast police to investigate the death.
All that can be said is we have been deeply affected by this tragedy and we are still grieving.Statement from Peter Keeley's family
Police have said the two teenagers charged on Thursday morning were friends and not known to police.
The teens were both charged with murder and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm. One of the teenagers is a school student.
The teenager arrested on Thursday afternoon faced the same charges. He is due to appear in a children's court on Friday.
Police searched the homes of the three boys on Thursday and seized mobile phones, laptops and other electronic equipment.
Mr Keeley had travelled to the South Coast from Canberra on the morning on February 2, travelling in a purple Honda Jazz with ACT licence plates.
Police revealed Mr Keeley suffered head and facial injuries, however, a post-mortem examination was inconclusive.
In a statement, the Keeley family said they were still processing the news of Peter's death.
"Our family is devastated and still coming to terms with the fact we have lost Peter," the family said.
"All that can be said is we have been deeply affected by this tragedy and we are still grieving. We are grateful for the overwhelming support from family and friends.
"As we continue to process this news, our family has requested privacy at this time to allow us to support Peter's children."
Mr Keeley was farewelled at a service in Canberra on Wednesday.
The father-of-three was a real estate agent and auctioneer in Canberra, and had most recently worked at Crowthers Property in Acton. He had also worked at Luton Properties for several years.
Mr Keeley had been a participant in the Real Estate Institute of the ACT, auctioneering competition multiple times.
He was also a former president of the West Belconnen Junior Rugby League Club. The club posted on Facebook they were saddened to hear of the passing.
"Our thoughts are with Peter's family at this time," the post said.
His brother Richard Keeley is also a well-known auctioneer in Canberra.