An 18-year-old has been charged with murder following the death of a Geelong father, after his body was found outside a church
Paul Grapsas, 40, left his Western Beach Road home near central Geelong in Victoria about 10pm on Thursday and never made it back after going for a late-night walk with his dog.
Homicide detectives arrested an 18-year-old in Ocean Grove on Tuesday.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the 18-year-old was charged with murder and would face Geelong Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Police allege the teen killed Paul Grapsas, 40, near his Western Beach Road home on September 15.
The loving father-of-two, who was expecting a third child, was located by his pregnant wife Jessica about 4am.
Paul Grapsas (pictured left) was found with a fatal head wound on a street near his Geelong home
The family’s beloved dog had returned, but her husband hadn’t.
She found his battered body, which had sustained significant head injuries, a short distance from their home.
Police sources have told Daily Mail Australia the gruesome death has puzzled seasoned detectives.
‘There is nothing in his background to indicate any reason he would be a particular victim of something like this,’ a source said on Monday.
The nasty attack is cause for concern among detectives, who at this stage of the investigation are treating it as a seemingly random act of violence.
The fact Mr Grapsas was walking his dog so late at night had armchair detectives on Facebook speculating something more sinister was afoot.
But the police source dismissed such speculation, suggesting Victorians living in well-to-do areas wouldn’t baulk at going out for a late night stroll.
‘If you live in a really well to do area, it never crosses your mind … it’s very normal for people to be out walking dogs at that time,’ the source said.
On Friday, Homicide Squad Detective Sergeant Tony Hupfeld said Mr Grapsas had routinely walked at night with his dog.
Forensic police swarmed the area on Saturday, dusting vehicles for fingerprints and scouring the area for clues.
Some neighbours claimed Mr Grapsas may have been attacked by someone breaking into vehicles.
Police have appealed to anyone who might have witnessed Ms Graspas out on Thursday night near intersection of Mercer and Malone streets, near where St Peter’s and St Paul’s Catholic Church is located (pictured)
Paul Grapsas , 40, left his Western Beach Road home near central Geelong in Victoria about 10pm on Thursday and never made it back.
Victoria Police has refused to comment in detail on its investigation, with locals telling the Geelong Advertiser the area had previously been plagued with homelessness and anti-social behaviour.
Some locals suggested an abandoned nursing home next door to the Grapsas’ house was being used by homeless people, the newspaper reported.
‘There used to be a lot more drug-affected and homeless people in the area, but recent tunnel works have pushed them away,’ one business owner claimed.
On Sunday, a small bunch of flowers had been placed by a rock on the street, near where Mr Grapsas was found dead – mere metres away from where the couple and their two girls lived.
Police ramped-up their presence in the area across the weekend, with officers on horseback seen patrolling the streets.
Sergeant Hupfeld said police were treating the death as suspicious and called on the public for witnesses.
‘It’s only very early in the investigation,’ Sergeant Hupfeld said.
‘We are still trying to determine the circumstances of his death.’
Jessica (pictured left) and Paul Grapsas celebrate Father’s Day with their two young girls
On Sunday evening, Mrs Grapsas posted a photo of the two smiling, with the caption reading ‘my love forever and ever.’
In a statement issued on Monday, Mr Grapsas was described as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend.
‘A man of integrity who was happiest when surrounded by his family, friends and church community,’ the statement read.
‘He was a devoted father of two young children expecting a third on the way and had just received a promotion at his workplace.
‘Known and respected in the community, a skilled sportsman who loved golf, fishing and video games.
‘Paul will be dearly and desperately missed by all those he loved and who loved him.’
Anyone who saw Mr Grapsis walking his dog or heard anything suspicious between 11pm on Thursday and 4am on Friday is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Police also want people with CCTV or dashcam footage to provide it.