Police have conducted a dig at a Goodna property looking for a missing 58-year-old man.
Police have conducted a dig at a Goodna property looking for a missing 58-year-old man.

Chilling find in search for missing former teacher

POLICE uncovered two buried fridges on a property south of Brisbane on Monday, as they stepped up their search for a missing man.

David Thornton, 58.
David Thornton, 58.

Former Bremer and Centenary state high school teacher David Thornton, 58, was reported missing on March 20, but his neighbours on Parker Street, Goodna, say he was last seen there in January.

Last week, someone was spotted on Mr Thornton's property burying two fridges with an excavator.

That prompted a major forensic dig by detectives, which uncovered the items.

A rotting odour could be smelt in the street as officers worked to determine what was contained inside the fridges.

They were bound tightly shut with coils of rope and flies could be seen gathering over the whitegoods.

Police excavate a fridge Mr Thornton’s Goodna property. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh
Police excavate a fridge Mr Thornton’s Goodna property. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh

One neighbour, who has lived in the street since Mr Thornton moved in 25 years ago, claimed the fridges contained meat for dogs, as well as other meat for human consumption.

One of the fridges is removed from the backyard by police. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh
One of the fridges is removed from the backyard by police. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she couldn't understand why anyone would wish harm upon Mr Thornton.

Neighbours told The Courier-Mail that Mr Thornton was a “lovely man”. Picture: Queensland Police Service
Neighbours told The Courier-Mail that Mr Thornton was a “lovely man”. Picture: Queensland Police Service

"His gate was always open and he always knew what was going on in the street," she said.

"He was a lovely man."

A neighbour told The Courier-Mail that the fridges normally contained meat for dogs, as well as other meat for human consumption. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh
A neighbour told The Courier-Mail that the fridges normally contained meat for dogs, as well as other meat for human consumption. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh

According to the woman, Mr Thornton was forced to retire from teaching due to ongoing health problems.

"Concerns are held for his safety as he has not returned home or contacted friends or family, this behaviour is out of character and he has a medical condition," a police statement said.

Police remove a chest freezer from a crime scene at Parker St Goodna. Monday 1st April 2019. (AAP Image/Richard Waugh)
Police remove a chest freezer from a crime scene at Parker St Goodna. Monday 1st April 2019. (AAP Image/Richard Waugh)

He is described as caucasian, about 180cm, with grey/white hair, blue eyes and a grey/white beard.

Detectives have established an investigation centre at Yamanto Police Station and are appealing for anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Thornton.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police forensic officers remain at the scene at scene on Monday night. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh
Police forensic officers remain at the scene at scene on Monday night. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh