The death of an Australian man who was yanked into a woodchipper late last year is being investigated by police as suspicious.
Bruce Saunders, a 54-year-old butcher, was clearing trees near his family friend’s home on Nov. 12 with two friends when he was caught in the industrial woodchipper.
He died “within a few seconds,” according to Sky News.
The death was initially treated as an accident but Queensland Police said “several items of interest” prompted them to change the status to “suspicious.”
“Information we received during the course of our coronial investigations has led us to believe that the death is suspicious and we have a number of detectives and police experts investigating this incident,” Inspector Gary Pettiford said.
An expert found no faults with the woodchipper, which is designed to prevent a person from being pulled into the blades if they fell in.
Detectives scoured the property in Goomboorian over the weekend.
Pettiford said several people who knew Saunders contacted police and said his death was likely not an accident, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Gympie Police acting inspector Paul Algie said in November that the scene was “one of the worst” he’d ever seen.
“He was placing a tree into a tree shredder; he’s become entangled within the machine and has died as a result of his injuries,” he said, reported The Gympie Times. “He was found by his two friends, they attempted to get him out of the machine and were unable to do so.”