Fear may be stopping some people from revealing what they know about the violent death of a man in a Flaxmere carpark, according to a senior officer involved in the investigation.

With no arrest nearing the end of the first week since the finding of the body of 40-year-old Kelly Donner, police Eastern District crime manager Detective Inspector Mike Foster said yesterday: "We believe we are on the right track, but we believe there are people who, if they didn't witness then still know what happened, are too afraid to come in."

He appealed to their sense of community to help in the investigation, and said: "This is our community, this is their community."

Kelly Donner.
Kelly Donner.

The death happened in the heart of the community, Donner being found in the carpark of the Flax Bar and Eatery in Swansea Rd, adjacent to the Flaxmere Village Shopping Centre, the bar historically known as the Flaxmere Tavern.


It was operated by Trust House but owned by the community through the Flaxmere Licensing Trust, which was established in 1975 to run licensed facilities in the area on behalf of its people, many organisations and facilities in the community having benefited from its proceeds and those of associated gaming trusts.

Foster reaffirmed, however, the tavern was not linked to the inquiry other than the location of the body in the carpark, where Donner was found with multiple injuries about 10.45pm on Sunday March 4, about 1 hour and 45 minutes after the tavern closed for the night.

While Mr Donner usually slept in the vicinity it was not thought he had been in the tavern that night, nor was there any incident in the tavern which had anything to do with the death.

Donner was not thought to have been in the carpark at the time staff and patrons left.

Foster said Donner was known as a "rough-sleeper" but he wasn't doing anybody any harm.

People who can help police are asked to contact their dedicated inquiry phone line on 06 873 056‬1 or alternatively provide details anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.