Police said a green City of Melville wheelie bin with a yellow lid and serial number is missing from Mr Puddy's property. The bin serial number is 030944 and the bin is stamped City of Melville.
Homicide detectives are investigating the disappearance of wealthy Mt Pleasant businessman Craig Puddy, the son of former Western Reds rugby league chairman Laurie Puddy.
Concerns are held for the 45-year-old's welfare after blood was reportedly found at his luxurious Bateman Road home and his car was left in the garage.
Family reported him missing late on Tuesday after becoming increasingly worried about not being able to contact him.
Police said Mr Puddy was last seen alive on Monday; the same day he resigned his directorship of a Welshpool-based industrial machinery company, Merlo Group Australia, amid plans to move to NSW.
He has already bought a multi-million-dollar waterfront property in Sydney and his five-bedroom, three-bathroom Mt Pleasant home is on the market for $3.2 million.
Selling agent Pauline Couanis said removalists had arrived at the two-storey home on Tuesday but Mr Puddy could not be contacted.
Major crime Det-Sen. Sgt Greg McDonald said it was early in the investigation but police had received some information that raised concerns for Mr Puddy's welfare.
He refused to elaborate on what aspects had worried police and stopped short of describing Mr Puddy's disappearance as suspicious.
"At this point we have some concerns, but I can't go beyond that," he said.
Forensic officers scoured the home yesterday for information and were expected to work through the night.
Mt Pleasant resident Michael, who did not want his surname published, said his mother lived next door to Mr Puddy and had been asked if she had heard anything worrying on Monday night.
She had not.
"Mum was shaken up. It's a bit scary when you live in a pretty prestigious part of Perth that something of this nature could happen in your street," he said.
Mr Puddy used to run a successful forklift business under the umbrella company owned by his father and shares his father's love of rugby league.
He was a former president of Canning Rugby League Club, now Central Districts Rugby League Club.
Current club president Stephen Mills said he was shocked to hear the 45-year-old was missing.
"I feel for his Dad and hopefully Craig is OK.
"I've spoken to some of his other friends and everybody is in the dark.," he said.
Laurie Puddy was the chairman of United Equipment, which was named in BRW's prestigious list of "Australia's 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies" for five consecutive years.Mr Puddy's family could not be contacted yesterday but it is understood Laurie Puddy will arrive in Perth from NSW today to await news of his son.
The search for a missing Perth millionaire has gained urgency after droplets of blood were discovered in the man's home.
Police have confirmed that droplets of blood were found in the kitchen of Craig Puddy, 45, during a forensic examination of his multi-million dollar Mount Pleasant home in Perth's south.
Homicide detectives are now leading the search but police have not yet described the disappearance as being suspicious, still treating it as a missing person's case.
Mr Puddy was reported missing by his sister on Tuesday after disappearing some time on Monday, the same day he resigned from his job as managing director of the Merlo Group.
Police taped off the house on Wednesday. It was being advertised for sale at a price of $3.2 million.
Mr Puddy's car was still at the house and his mobile phone was switched off.
He had reportedly left the Australian-Italian joint venture as he planned to leave Perth for Sydney in coming weeks.
Mr Puddy has also been involved in the forklift business, formerly managing WA Access, part of WA Forktrucks.
Through that connection, he was also involved in supporting the Central Districts Rugby League Football Club in Perth.
The 45-year-old was last seen on Monday and was reported missing by his sister on Tuesday.
Mr Puddy is the son of former Western Reds rugby league chairman Laurie Puddy.
Police revealed today that a green City of Melville wheelie bin with a yellow lid and serial number is missing from Mr Puddy's property.
The bin serial number is 030944 and the bin is stamped City of Melville.
Police forensics officers have since been examining his two-storeyed
Mount Pleasant home.
Police on Wednesday taped off the
house, which had been up for sale for $3.2 million.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg McDonald said information police had received so far was concerning and they were treating the matter seriously.
``It's being investigated purely as a missing person at this point but with a fairly high degree of urgency.''
Police said Mr Puddy's car was still at the property and his mobile phone had been switched off.
It's understood he lived at the property by himself and had been planning to move to Sydney but was not at the house when removalists turned up on Tuesday.
Mr Puddy was managing director of the Merlo Group, an Australian-Italian joint venture, but Fairfax online reported he had resigned from the company on Monday.
Mr Puddy has also been involved in the forklift business, formerly managing WA Access, part of WA Forktrucks.
He is a former president of Canning Rugby League Club, which is now known as the Central Districts Rugby League Football Club in Perth.
Millionaire businessman Craig Puddy has vanished from his Mt Pleasant mansion.
A former business partner of Craig Puddy is being sought over the millionaire's disappearance.
Police last night said they were searching for Cameron Mansell, 38, in connection with his disappearance.
They made the information public after receiving questions from WAtoday.com.au relating to Mr Mansell.
Divers spent yesterday scouring the Canning River for clues, while police issued a public plea for the wherabouts of a City of Melville recycling bin which has gone missing from his home.
Police divers yesterday trawled the Canning River and a helicopter scoured the neighbourhood around Mr Puddy's Mount Pleasant mansion as the search intensified for the missing businessman.
The fate of Mr Puddy could hinge on a missing wheelie bin after it was revealed enough blood was found at his mansion to cause police serious concern.
Mr Puddy, 45, was reported missing from his home - which has been for sale for several weeks with an asking price of $3.2 million - on Tuesday night.
Family members last saw him on Monday evening.
The disappearance is being treated by police as highly suspicious, but they have stopped short of declaring it a murder investigation.
Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan confirmed blood had been found inside the property, but it was yet to be confirmed whose blood it was as forensic testing had not yet been completed.
Police are now also searching for a yellow-and-green City of Melville recycling bin with a serial number 030944, which has gone missing from Mr Puddy's property.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg McDonald said police were investigating Mr Puddy's background and relationships as part of the investigation.
His family were "very worried" about his fate.
Mr Puddy, who was reported missing by his sister, has been involved in the forklift business.
His father, prominent businessman Laurie Puddy, arrived from NSW today to assist the police investigation.
Missing man's business links
Craig Puddy formerly managed WA Access, part of WA Forktrucks, before the parent company - which was controlled by his father - was sold to AMP Capital Partners for $78 million in 2005.
He then became managing director of Welshpool-based Merlo Group, an Australian-Italian joint venture.
However, a Merlo Group employee told WAtoday.com.au that Mr Puddy "doesn't work here", and that nobody from the company would talk to the media.
Documents obtained by WAtoday.com.au show that Mr Puddy resigned as a director and secretary of Merlo Group on Monday.
Real-estate agent Pauline Couanis, who is selling Mr Puddy's property, said she last heard from him on Monday.
Removalists were at the property on Tuesday and Wednesday, but no one was home, Ms Couanis said.
"I've met him a few times," Ms Couanis said.
"He's a very nice guy, very successful."
Mr Puddy lived at the property by himself, but was moving to Sydney.
Ms Couanis said there had been a little interest in the property, given its price range, but police had told her to keep the "for sale" sign up.
Rugby league community shocked
Neighbours said they knew little about Mr Puddy. He is a former president of the Canning Rugby League Club.
Club president Stephen Mills told WAtoday.com.au that Mr Puddy had been considering for a few months returning to his home town of Sydney.
"It's hard news to take really. I'm very, very shocked," he said.
Mr Puddy has bought a waterfront property in Sydney.
Craig and Laurie Puddy have both been big supporters of the Canning club and rugby league in general.
Laurie Puddy was the driving force behind the former Western Reds rugby league side, which took part in the Australian Rugby League national competition in the 1990s.
Craig Puddy was Canning president when the team made the 2003 WA Rugby League grand final, and also supported the South Perth club financially, Mr Mills said.
Police said his car was still at the property, his bank accounts had not been touched and his mobile phone had been switched off.
Detective Sergeant Jeremy Coulson said a forensic examination of the property would take three to four days.
Police have asked anyone with information into the disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- with Fran Rimrod and Joseph Sapienza
A past AFL legend, a Dockers star, an ex-Wallaby, a missing bar manager and a struggling pub are all intriguing pieces of the jigsaw that is the background of Craig Puddy, who disappeared earlier this week.
With still no sign of Mr Puddy, WAtoday.com.au can lift some of the mystery surrounding his business dealings.
Last night police revealed they were searching for Cameron Mansell, 38, a manager at the Nedlands bar Basement on Broadway, to assist them with their search with Mr Puddy, a part-owner of the pub.
That revelation followed questions from WAtoday.com.au about Mr Mansell.
His burnt-out Jeep Cherokee was found in Banksia Grove yesterday afternoon. Police say they are concerned for his welfare.
Mr Puddy, 45, was reported missing from his Mount Pleasant
home - which has been for sale for several weeks with an asking
price of $3.2 million - on Tuesday night by his sister.
Family members last saw him on Monday evening.
Police divers spent yesterday scouring the nearby Canning River for clues to his whereabouts. A wheelie bin has also gone missing from Mr Puddy's home.
However, his car remains in the garage and his bank accounts
have not been touched.
While Mr Puddy, son of forklift magnate and rugby league stalwart Laurie Puddy, carved out a career in the same business as his father, he resigned as a director at Welshpool-based Australian-Italian joint venture Merlo Group on Monday.
WAtoday.com.au understands Mr Puddy sold his stake in the company to the Italians, and intended to set up a forklift rental business in Sydney.
The NSW native had bought a waterfront property in his home town and had intended for some months to move back there to be closer to family.
However, he also held a 30 per cent stake in Basement on Broadway. The struggling pub was in the process of being sold.
The other owners of the bar include Marty Rogers, Fremantle Docker veteran Byron Schammer and ex-Wallaby and Western Force rugby star Scott Fava.
It is understood Mr Rogers, who did not return calls from WAtoday.com.au seeking comment, flew to Perth from Melbourne earlier this week to seal the deal to sell the pub.
Mr Mansell and other investors intended to buy out the major owners.
He is believed to have telephoned Mr Puddy on Monday to talk about the deal.
Mr Puddy had been trying to sell his stake in the struggling
bar for some time.
"Every time there were troubles with paying bills, they'd ring Craig to sort it out," a source said.
"He wanted out, he had his other business to run, and he was thinking if it wasn't sold he'd go to administrators."
WAtoday.com.au is not suggesting Mr Rogers, Mr Fava, Mr Schammer or Mr Mansell have anything to do with Mr Puddy's disappearance.
Mr Mansell was investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for selling managed investment schemes while living in South Australia in the late 1990s.
A friend of Mr Puddy's said Mr Mansell was a "big bloke" and good sportsman who hailed from Victoria.
"He was a financial controller a few years ago, but he sort of disappeared for about a year-and-a-half," the source said.
"We all heard different rumours about him. I understand he put some money into the bar, and after there had been a few managers, he said 'I may as well manage it'. That's how it all started."
Mr Mansell was a friend of AFL legend Wayne Carey.
"We all went out with him once. He said 'Come to the pub, my mate Wayne's here', and there he was," one source said.
"Craig never talked about (Mr Mansell) much. But after we didn't see (Mr Mansell) for so long, I rang Craig one day and he was there in the background, talking about marketing the bar."
It is understood that Mr Mansell had helped Mr Puddy pack his house for the Sydney shift.
Mr Puddy's family, including Laurie Puddy, gathered in Perth
yesterday. Friends told WAtoday.com.au that Craig Puddy, despite his
apparent wealth, was "one of the boys".
"He might have been swamped with his own business, but he is the first bloke you'd turn to if you had problems of your own," one told WAtoday.com.au.
"He was just a t-shirt and jeans bloke. There's no way in the world that you'd ever know he had $5 to his name."
Mr Puddy had been travelling between Perth and Sydney for the past couple of months, and seemed pleased to be moving back nearer his family and mates.
The former business partner of missing Perth millionaire Craig Puddy has been released without charge after being questioned by police.
Cameron Mansell was questioned for several hours on Friday after being taken into police custody.
The 38-year-old's burnt-out four-wheel drive Jeep Cherokee was found in a pine plantation in the city's north on Thursday, after police said blood had been found in Mr Puddy's luxury Mount Pleasant home and a wheelie bin from the property was missing.
Mr Mansell managed the Basement on Broadway pub in the city's west, an enterprise which was part owned by Mr Puddy as well as former Wallaby Scott Fava.
The 45-year-old Mr Puddy was last seen on Monday, the same day he resigned as a director of an industrial machinery company.
Major crime squad detectives on Friday said they had found Mr Mansell at a location in the Perth CBD and he was assisting police with their inquiries.
ABC Radio reported that police swooped on a Perth hotel on Friday morning and took him away for questioning.
Mr Mansell was interviewed for several hours before being released without charge at about 11pm (WST), police said in a brief statement on Saturday.
Major crime squad detectives are continuing to vigorously investigate Mr Puddy's disappearance, the statement said.
Police on Thursday scoured Mr Puddy's five-bedroom, two-storey home in the affluent suburb of Mount Pleasant for further clues to his whereabouts.
Water police divers were also called in to trawl the Canning River about 100m downhill from his home.
Mr Puddy had been planning to move to Sydney, but when removalists turned up on Tuesday he was not at the house, which has been on the market for $3.2 million.
Police have asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
© 2010 AAP
MOUNT PLEASANT MISSING PERSON
6 May 2010
A missing council wheelie bin may hold the key to the disappearance of
45-year old Mount Pleasant businessman Craig Puddy.
The green recycling bin with a distinctive yellow lid was seen at Mr Puddy’s Bateman Road home on Monday 3rd May, but was discovered to be missing when police visited the property yesterday.
The wheelie bin has the words “City of Melville” stamped on the top of the lid, and a serial number 030944 stamped on the inside of the lid’s flange.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg McDonald of Major Crime Squad today confirmed that traces of blood found inside Mr Puddy’s home was a strong
indication that a serious incident may have taken place, and as a result Police have concerns for the missing businessman’s safety and wellbeing.
He said police are anxious to hear from anyone who may be able to shed some light on Mr Puddy’s movements since late on Monday afternoon when he was last seen by a relative.
Detective Senior Sergeant McDonald said at this stage police are focussing on building a picture of the missing man’s background, business connections and associates.
He said the forensic analysis of blood found at Mr Puddy’s home has not been finalised, and other forensic examinations may be time consuming.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mr Puddy or the missing wheelie bin is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Updated- May 10th 2010
Police are continuing their investigation into the disappearance of Perth millionaire Craig Puddy.
Mr Puddy was last seen last Monday night but it was the discovery of a large amount of blood at his Mount Pleasant property that led police to believe he may have been the victim of foul play.
Police questioned his business associate Cameron James Mansell for several hours on Friday.
Police were initially unable to locate Mr Mansell last week in the wake of Mr Puddy's disappearance but found his four wheel drive had been dumped and set alight in bush near Yanchep, north of Perth.
Police arrested Mr Mansell at a hotel in the city and questioned him for most of Friday but he was then released without charge.
Mr Puddy and Mr Mansell have a financial interest in a bar in Nedlands.
Mr Mansell was recently acquitted of drug charges.
The investigation is now focused on the forensic analysis of the blood found in the house.
Last week, Senior Sergeant Greg McDonald said with the blood in the house, there was no doubt foul play was involved.
"I'm not prepared to go into where in the house it was, it was inside the house.
"It's enough to cause us concern, to suggest that something's occurred in the house which shouldn't have happened."
Sergeant McDonald also said police want to find a green and yellow recycling wheelie bin missing from Mr Puddy's home.
"The bin itself is the key for us. There may be any number of items that are able to assist us or any amount of evidence that we can gain from that bin, so we don't know what that bin may provide us, but clearly it was at the house, it's no longer there, and that's why we need to find it."
Police are continuing to interview neighbours, friends and associates in the search for clues.
Police investigating the disappearance and suspected murder of Perth businessman Craig Puddy have found a bin that was missing from his home.
The wheelie bin was found in bush in Yanchep, about an hour north of Perth, by four-wheel drive enthusiasts yesterday.
A search had been underway for the bin, which police suspect was used to remove Mr Puddy's body from his home in Mt Pleasant.
The bin, which has been sent for forensic testing, was found 15 kilometres from where police discovered a burnt out car belonging to Mr Puddy's business associate Cameron Mansell.
Officers are now searching for the body in the area the bin was found.
Detective Inspector Dave Bryson says the discovery is a breakthrough.
"The bin is currently being tested," he said.
"We can confirm it is that bin and at this stage what we're going to do is extend the search area from where the bin was actually found in the hope that we may be able to find Mr Puddy."
A large pool of Mr Puddy's blood was found inside his home after he was reported missing by his family earlier this month.
Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mansell who they claim murdered Mr Puddy.
Mr Mansell, 38, is being held in custody in north Queensland pending an application to extradite him to Perth.
He had been interviewed by WA police but was released without charge before he disappeared and fled interstate.
Mr Mansell first flew to Adelaide under an assumed name and was traced to his mother's home, but went missing before police could set up surveillance.
He was arrested near Townsville last week and a decision on his extradition has been delayed as his lawyers challenge the validity of the arrest warrant.
The man wanted for questioning over the murder of Perth millionaire Craig Puddy will remain in police custody until his extradition hearing resumes in north Queensland.
The Federal Magistrates Court in Townsville last night declared the original arrest warrant for 38-year-old Cameron Mansell invalid.
Magistrate John Coker cited major flaws with the warrant, which was issued by a West Australian magistrate last month.
Mr Coker ordered that it be quashed but said Mansell should remain in police custody until his extradition hearing is handed back to the Townsville Magistrates Court at a date to be set.
WA police have prepared a second warrant to present to the court.
Police say once Mansell is extradited he will be charged with the murder of his former business partner Craig Puddy, who disappeared from his Perth home early last month.
This morning, police will resume their search of bush north of Perth where a bin belonging to Mr Puddy was found.
Police believe he was murdered and his body removed from his Mount Pleasant home in the bin.
Police have confirmed they have called off the search for the body of the missing businessman, Craig Puddy, north of Perth.
Officers spent more than a week scouring bushland around Two Rocks after a wheelie bin from Mr Puddy's home in Mount Pleasant was found in the area.
Mr Puddy has been missing for more than a month.
38-year-old Cameron Mansell has been charged with his murder.
Prosecutors have told a Perth court the case against a man accused of murdering his missing business partner is entirely circumstantial.
38 year old Cameron James Mansell was extradited from Queensland earlier this month to face a charge of murdering 45 year old Craig Puddy who has not been seen since early May.
Mr Mansell appeared in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea Prison where he is being held on remand.
His lawyer told the court Mr Mansell would be pleading not guilty.
Prosecutors asked for a 12 week adjournment because they said there was a large amount of evidence that needed to be tested forensically.
Mr Mansell will appear in court again in September.
A senior Perth lawyer has blamed the State Government for delays in getting a trial for a man accused of murdering his business partner.
Cameron James Mansell is being held in custody, accused of murdering 45 year-old Craig Puddy who disappeared in May.
Today, the Stirling Gardens Magistrate's court was told the case needed to be adjourned for 10 weeks to allow forensic reports to be completed.
Queen's Counsel Tom Percy questioned the length of the adjournment, saying his client was eager for a trial because he was anxious to prove his innocence.
Mr Percy said he understood that the court was not to blame, saying the delay was the Government's fault and he and his client were just the meat in the sandwich.
Mr Percy also applied for Mr Mansell to appear in court at the next hearing, rather than via video-link.
The case is due back in court in November.
Cameron James Mansell, 39, appeared in court today dressed in a
pale blue shirt and black pants for the first day of his trial before
Judge Michael Murray and a jury.
Mansell has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 45-year-old Craig Puddy, whose body has never been found.
During his opening this morning, State prosecutor Bruno Fiannaca told the court Puddy died as a result of being violently assaulted on the night of May 3, 2010.
Mr Fiannaca said the death was most likely caused by “striking blows” from a blunt object, one of which was while Puddy was standing and at least one another while he was close to the ground.
Mr Fiannaca said the relationship between Mansell and Puddy had soured because of a fallout over the Crawley pub Basement on Broadway.
Puddy had invested about $700,000 into the pub and Mansell, who
was the manager of the pub, had been tasked to form a syndicate of
investors to buy out Puddy’s share of the business but had failed to do
The court heard the pub was also facing threats of foreclosure.
If Puddy withdrew his financial support and the pub was shut down, Mansell stood to face a debt of more than $170,000.
“For the accused, there was more at stake than losing his job,” Mr Fiannaca said.
“This was a volatile situation.”
Mr Fiannaca told the court on the weekend before Puddy’s death, he went to the pub and found money missing from the safe.
He said Puddy called Mansell and confronted him during a “heated discussion” about midday on May 3, during which Mansell denied the allegations and said the money was in the safe all along.
Mr Fiannaca alleged that Mansell went to Puddy’s house that night, when there was a “violent confrontation”.
“The precise way the fuse was lit may never be known,” he said.
The last person to see Puddy on May 3 was his mother Denise, who left his home about 6.30pm.
When friends and family became worried the next day because they could not get in touch with Puddy, they eventually went to his Mt Pleasant house and unlocked the doors.
Mr Fiannaca said they found blood spatters on a cutting board in the kitchen and on a bulk head, cupboards and the floor.
They also noticed missing items, such as a drawer in the kitchen and the keys to Puddy’s car, which was still parked in the garage.
Mr Fiannaca said various witnesses would testify during the trial that they saw Mansell or a dark-coloured 4WD similar to his black Jeep Cherokee return to Puddy’s house on more than one occasion throughout the night of May 3 and early morning of May 4.
Mr Fiannaca added that Puddy’s keys and wallet were later found wrapped in a tea towel in a bin in Nedlands.
The prosecutor told the jury they would hear evidence from a forensic expert about the way Puddy was killed according to the blood spatters found in the house.
He said the evidence showed Puddy died “a violent death” and suffered at least two injuries in the kitchen of his house, one while he was standing up and one while he was on or near the ground.
“There was clear evidence of an attempt to clean,” Mr Fiannaca said.
“It’s simply not possible to know how much blood was removed in the cleaning process."
Mr Fiannaca alleged that Mansell removed Puddy’s body from the house by stuffing him feet first into a recycling bin, which he later transported in his black Jeep Cherokee.
He showed the court a photo of the underside of the bin lid, showing blood stains and human hair.
“It leads to the conclusion a person was put inside the bin suffering an injury to the head,” he told the jury.
“The State says he was put in there while unconscious, if not already dead.”
The jury was told Mansell booked a flight to Adelaide on May 12 for the following day under a false name. He then made his way to Townsville in Queensland, while WA Police issued a warrant for his arrest.
Mr Fiannaca said Mansell attempted to get a QLD drivers licence under another assumed name while staying with family.
"All this points to someone who was trying to avoid justice, someone who took flight when he saw the chance," he said.
"His conduct was that of a guilty man."
Police eventually arrested Mansell in a forest in north QLD when his cousin told them his whereabouts.
Mansell’s defence lawyer will address the jury tomorrow.
The trial continues and is expected to last at least six weeks.