Police hunt man over fire death

Do you know this man? He was seen at the Suncorp Bank sub-branch at Gin Gin the day before 77-year-old Robert Pitman’s death.
Do you know this man? He was seen at the Suncorp Bank sub-branch at Gin Gin the day before 77-year-old Robert Pitman’s death. Submitted

HOMICIDE and arson detectives have been called in as police probe suspicious activity on the bank account of a man who died in a shed fire last month.

The body of 77-year-old Robert Pitman was found in the smouldering ruins of a caravan in the shed of his Rows Road property, on April 7.

Bundaberg Police Superintendent Anne Macdonald said a number of suspicious transactions were made on the retiree's bank account in the days leading up to his death.

She said police urgently wanted to speak with a man who was photographed by cameras at the Gin Gin Suncorp sub-branch on the day before Mr Pitman's death.

“If you recognise the man in the photograph or were in the Suncorp branch on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 6, we would like to speak with you,” Supt Macdonald said.

“We are trying to get as much information as possible about the days leading up to Mr Pitman's death.”

A major investigation room has been set up at Bundaberg Police Station, as the state's Homicide Investigation Unit, arson squad and the Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) examine the bank transactions and other details in the case.

“We have grave regards as to the origins of the fire and investigations are continuing,” Supt Macdonald said.

“We do believe it is suspicious at this stage.”

She said there were many unanswered questions about the fire and the circumstances surrounding Mr Pitman's death, and urged anyone who knew him to contact police.

“Hopefully someone can help us put the jigsaw together about what happened,” she said.

A cause of death has not been released, but Supt Macdonald said Mr Pitman had died as a result of the fire.

She described the incident as “particularly tragic”, and said police were working closely with the man's family to gather as much information as possible.

Mr Pitman's family lives outside the Gin Gin area, but his neighbours described him as a “really friendly” man.

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