Toolbox murders: Accused killer told police he ‘stood on top of them’
A man accused of murdering two drug dealers who were shoved in a toolbox and dumped in a creek admitted in a police interview that he killed them.
Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru’s decomposing bodies were found in a large metal box on February 11, 2016, at Scrubby Creek, south of Brisbane.
Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata, 28, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the pair after they were lured to a townhouse in Kingston 18 days earlier and assaulted by a group of men.
But in a police interview played in his Brisbane Supreme Court trial on Tuesday, Tahiata admitted the crime. “I murdered them. I had them in my car … I done it by myself,” he told Detective Nicole Tunks.
“I swam them out, and I stood on top of them. I heard them scream. I’m confessing everything, you know. I’m really sorry to all the family that I’ve hurt … but you know. I just gotta man up.”
Tahiata denied knowing who was in the toolbox or why they were in there, saying he became involved in the killings because he “was the only one who owned a ute”.
Asked when he knew he would kill the pair, Tahiata said, “When they got on the back of my ute. Cause what else was I gonna do. If I let them go, I’d be in the same, you know.”
Later, Tahiata said he spotted the toolbox floating as he drove past on the Logan Motorway. “I went down, put some more rocks on it,” he said.
“It was like, it was (a) stink, it’s, it was just like really smelly. Two decomposing bodies.”
During the interview, Tahiata initially denied any involvement, claiming he was at a church service on the day the pair disappeared before suddenly confessing.
Prosecutor David Meredith has previously told the trial Tahiata changed his story after admitting the murders because “he didn’t want to take the blame for what others had done”.
The Crown case is that Tahiata’s ute was used to transport the toolbox with Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru still alive inside to the waterway.
Mr Meredith told the jury Tahiata helped load the box on his ute and then drove to the nearby creek with a man named Trent Thrupp.
Tahiata then allegedly helped carry the box to the shore as Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru screamed for help from inside.
Thrupp then pushed the toolbox into the water but it didn’t immediately sink, Mr Meredith said. He said Tahiata then handed Thrupp a hammer so he could punch holes into the side of the box.
The trial continues.
Originally published as Toolbox killer ‘stood on top of them’