SHALLOW GRAVE MURDER
By DAVID BANCROFT & AAP
FRIENDS and associates of former Grafton teenager Jay Sheperd were in disbelief yesterday after learning his headless body had been found in bushland in south east Queensland last week.
Mr Sheperd's body was found in a shallow grave by two farmers in bushland near Strong Road at Dayboro, on Brisbane's northside, about 2.30pm on Friday.
His remains were formally identified on Sunday, and yesterday staff at Clarence Valley Community Programs learned they belonged to their one-time client.
According to youth case worker Melanie Rogers and key accommodation worker Naydene Beaver, the 17-year-old former South Grafton High School student had left the Clarence Valley towards the end of last year to find work, have some independence and experience life in Brisbane.
Mrs Rogers said Mr Sheperd was a young gentleman, and many of the centre's staff had shed a tear when they learned of his fate.
"It's bad enough when you hear of kids being killed in car accidents, but this, this was just so gruesome," she said.
"He was a really kind kid.
"He would always open doors for you, help you carry stuff, was really respectful of women and if he slipped and swore or something, he would always apologise."
Yesterday two men appeared in a Brisbane court charged over Mr Sheperd's murder.
Christopher Clark Jones, 21, and James Patrick Roughan, 25, both from Sandgate on Brisbane's bayside, were charged with murder and interfering with a corpse following the discovery of Mr Sheperd's body.
They appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday and did not apply for bail.
Jones was remanded to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court next Tuesday for mention, while Roughan will reappear on May 23.
Roughan asked the court if he could be transported separately from his co-accused because he feared violence from them.
Magistrate Bill McKay said the decision was a matter for Corrective Services.
Sheperd lived in South Grafton with his father and two sisters. He had attended South Grafton High School until the end of Year 8.