Connor Well: man arrested after French tourist stabbed to death in NT outback.
A Melbourne man has been arrested over the stabbing death of a French tourist in the Northern Territory in an alleged unprovoked attack in front of the victim’s wife.
The French couple had only recently arrived in Australia and were alone at the Connor Well rest stop on the Stuart Highway, about 135km north of Alice Springs, when approached by an unknown man on Wednesday afternoon.
‘The man has allegedly then stabbed the male tourist to the neck, in an unprovoked attack,’ Detective Superintendent Travis Wurst said on Thursday.
The 33-year-old visitor died at the scene.
Det Supt Wurst said the victim’s wife, 30, was in Alice Springs Hospital being treated for shock but had not been physically injured by the attacker. She was still to be interviewed by detectives.
‘She’s particularly traumatised by the event,’ he said.
‘This is an absolutely devastating occurrence for her and for her family and that of the deceased as well … We’ll bring this offender to justice.’
The attacker fled in a grey Hyundai hatchback with Victorian licence plates.
Police stopped the car near Ti Tree, about 200km north of Alice Springs, but the suspect ran off into bush, sparking an overnight manhunt.
A helicopter found a man at first light on Thursday and the 35-year-old was arrested about 8.30am.
It was expected he would be taken to Alice Springs for a routine health check to determine his fitness for custody.
He is not expected to be charged until at least Friday.
The victim’s wife flagged down another couple in a passing car shortly after the attack.
A nurse reportedly stayed at the scene while her husband drove 30km to the nearest telephone at the Aileron Roadhouse to call police.
The French consulate general is providing support to the victim’s family.
‘Our immediate thoughts go to the family of the victim to whom we send our most sincere condolences,’ it said in a statement.
A crime scene was to stay in place for the rest of Thursday so police could speak to witnesses.
It comes as another Frenchman remains in a critical condition after he was allegedly punched in Darwin earlier this week.
British backpacker Kirsty Fuller, who’s been doing farm work in Alice Springs and Katherine for the past three months, called the news ‘unnerving’.
‘It definitely puts you on edge,’ she told AAP.
‘My last farm, I was three hours from anything. I don’t think I’ll be going that far into the outback again. I like having people around.’
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said there’s been similar tragedies in the Territory before but he didn’t expect it to damage tourism.
British backpacker Peter Falconio was murdered in 2001 while travelling through the central Australian desert with his girlfriend Joanne Lees, but his body has never been found.
– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nt/2016/12/01/french-tourist-stabbed-to-death-in-nt.html#sthash.fNYn8nWV.dpuf