Pemberton murder: Police find human remains believed to be those of Tony Ditri near Pemberton

Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
Tony Ditri.
Camera IconTony Ditri. Credit: Facebook/Facebook

Police have found human remains believed to be those of allegedly murdered father-of-three Tony Ditri, near Pemberton.

Mr Ditri was reported missing on August 27 after he vanished during a trip to the tip and did not return home for dinner.

Tony Ditri was last seen leaving an address on Guppy Street, Pemberton on Friday 27 August 2021.
Camera IconTony Ditri was last seen leaving an address on Guppy Street, Pemberton on Friday 27 August 2021. Credit: WA Police/WA Police

His car was later found in bushland about 20km from the town site, and local farmer John Della Franca, whose property borders the dump, was charged with murdering the 40-year-old handyman.

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Today police announced human remains had been found in Pemberton by a member of the public on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, Wednesday 15 September 2021, human remains which are believed to be those of Mr Tony Ditri were located by a member of the public on a property within the Pemberton area,” a police statement read.

“Homicide squad and forensic officers are currently at the scene.

“Mr Ditri’s family have been made aware of the development.”

Pemberton farmer John Della Franca.
Camera IconPemberton farmer John Della Franca. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Homicide detectives have spent the last several hours examining the scene but are yet to formally identify the remains or receive results from DNA testing to confirm whether they belong to Mr Ditri.

Local officers have been working with homicide squad and extra resources in the search to find Mr Ditri’s body, with police divers carrying out an extensive search of the Warren River near where Mr Ditri’s truck was found.

Detectives carrying out inquiries in Pemberton.
Camera IconDetectives carrying out inquiries in Pemberton. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

The alleged murder has devastated the community of the tight-knit timber town, with some locals taking up their own search efforts.

Locals described him as a hard worker and a loving father and husband.

“(This) has ripped apart our small little town,” one woman posted online. “Rest in Peace Tony, a great person and amazing community member. Just devastating.”

One of his three daughters bravely played in her football team’s grand final the week after he was allegedly killed.

Mr Della Franca’s neighbours reported hearing gunshots on the Friday afternoon that Mr Ditri was last seen.

The 64-year-old buckwheat farmer will next appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on September 29.

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