DARWIN, Saturday. - Police are to-night scouring hundreds of square miles of outback Queensland in a hunt for men wanted in connection with the murder of George Grantham, 42, well known and popular Darwin taxi driver.
His body was found to-day in scrub off Stuart Highway, 13 miles from Darwin.
Grantham had been shot in the back of the head and there was a knife wound in his chest.
Darwin people are threat- ening to lynch his murderer.
Police to-day described the murder as "the most
brutal in Territory history."
This afternoon police de- tained two New Australians between Mount Isa and
Cloncurry, about 1,200 miles by road from the scene of the crime.
The New Australians said the gunmen had left the taxi in rough country further along the road towards Mount Isa.
They told police they had been held up by two men in the taxi on the highway between Duchess and Mount Isa and forced at gunpoint to drive the taxi.
Grantham was first missed when he failed to return home from work early on Friday morning.
He telephoned his wife about 10-o'clock on Thursday night to tell her he would be home for supper after doing a midnight job, but he did not arrive.
Grantham was in the habit of carrying large sums of money. He made several suc- cessful bets at Tennant Creek races earlier in the week.
It is estimated that on the night of his death he was carrying between £500 and
When Grantham did not arrive home, Mrs Grantham informed the police.
Police, taxi-drivers and resi- dents began a search for Grantham and his cab early on Friday morning and con- tinued the search throughout last night.
Shortly before midday to- day Mr and Mrs McDougall, of Darwin, were searching along Stuart Highway, about 13 miles from the town when
Mrs McDougall saw tyre tracks leading into scrub.
Following the tracks she found pools of blood, and about 20 yards from the road- way discovered the body.
Police had begun a territory wide hunt for Grantham's cab.
It had been seen passing through Frewena, about 100 miles along the highway from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa late yesterday afternoon.
The manhunt covered thou- sands of square miles and police were alerted at all points along routes into Queensland.
Mount Isa reported that the cab had refuelled there and left for Cloncurry.
Simultaneously a patrol
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left Cloncurry for Mount Isa.
This afternoon police seized the missing cab between Mount Isa and Duchess.
The two New Australians in the car were detained for questioning.
Three Darwin police'' will fly from Darwin to Mouni Isa early to-morrow to ques- tion the men.
Late to-day, Queensland police seeking the men who held up the New Australians had blanketed an area bounded by Camooweal. Cloncurry. Duchess, and Dajarra.
Roadblocks have been set up and all trains are being stopped and searched.
More than 50 armed police, including mounties and two blacktrackers, are engaged.
When news of the discovery of Grantham's body became known in Darwin this morn- ing some residents said they would lynch those responsible for the crime if they were brought back to Darwin.
One Darwin businessman. Mr. Bill Osborne, said Gran- tham had been "liked and loved by everyone from Alice Springs to Darwin for the past 20 years.
"He has never been known to pull a crooked deal. If the fiends who did this ever return to Darwin, may God help them."