Three murders believed to be linked to the drug trade in Adelaide's southern suburbs will be investigated by a new police task force, with up to 15 people suspected of being involved in the killings.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray said 42 officers under Task Force Southern would investigate the deaths of Robert Atkins, Trevor King and Jeff Mundy.
Supt Bray said between 12 and 15 people, who he described as “thugs and bullies”, are thought to be involved with the deaths related to the methamphetamine scene.
“It is alleged the men have all been murdered by low-level drug dealers and petty criminals, who get together with others to bully, threaten and stand over others,” he said.
“We're not talking about gangs, we're not talking about organised crime. We're talking about low- to mid-level drug dealers.”
Supt Bray said the investigation was expected to be long and challenging as he urged anyone with information to come forward.
“The victims made bad choices to use drugs … but none of them deserved what happened to them,” he said.
Mr Atkins, 31, was held captive and tortured for up to a week with his body thought disposed of in the state's mid-north.
Mr King, 41, was found dead at suburban West Lakes in January last year with his death originally treated as a suicide.
Mr Mundy, 36, was last seen in December last year. His body has not been found, with police suspecting it was disposed of somewhere on SA's Fleurieu Peninsula.
Supt Bray said the task force would also look into other drug-related deaths, including some thought to have been the result of overdoses.
“We've got three people who are murdered. We are looking at the possibility there may be other deaths,” he said.Internet Explorer Channel Network