Brandon Peter McGowan charged with murder over disappearance of Scott Maitland and his wife, Cindy Masonwells


Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells at their wedding in Kuranda in 2009

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LATEST UPDATES: 8 AUGUST 2012

“HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO FAREWELL CAIRNS COUPLE” 

There were emotional scenes as hundreds of mourners turned out to the funeral of couple Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells this afternoon.

The crowd overflowed from the church into nearby grounds with people wearing brightly-coloured clothing to remember the fun-loving pair.

The couple were described as one another’s soul mates as family and friends wept before their two coffins laden with flowers, which were placed in the altar of St Michael’s Catholic Church in Gordonvale.

Majorie Maitland, mother of Scott Maitland is hugged by mourners outside St Michael’s Catholic Church at the funeral to farewell her son and Cindy Masonwells.

Scott’s parents Wayne and Marjorie Maitland were in tears before the service began with Mrs Maitland hugging Scott’s only daughter, Rhyane, during the funeral.

Family friend David Chalk presented the eulogy giving tribute to the couple who touched so many lives.

“Cindy (originally from Gympie) came north in her late twenties to find her soul mate and found him in Scott,’’ he said.

“Scott and Cindy, we will miss you every day for the rest of our lives.

“How can we begin to understand why you were taken from us? You had so many dreams, laughs and love to still share.”

Cindy’s sister Tanya Masonwells fought back tears as she remembered her younger sister.

“My little sister Cindy wanted everyone on the planet to be happy and get along,’’ she said.

“Cindy would do anything to make people laugh.”

The 50-minute service finished when friends wheeled Scott and Cindy’s coffins from the church into two hearses outside.

Scott was buried at Gordonvale Cemetery with Cindy’s body to be transported to Gympie to be laid to rest next to her late-father.

The couple were reported missing in July before their bodies were found in bushland along Lake Morris Road at Kanimbla.

Bungalow man Brandon Peter McGowan, 41, has been charged with murdering the couple.

Australian MP Bob Katter and State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt were also in attendance.

26 JULY 2012 – NINEMSN

Accused double murderer acted alone: cops

The man accused of murdering a Mount Isa couple in far north Queensland acted alone, police say.

Brandon McGowan, 41, was charged with the murder of Scott Maitland, 35, and Cindy Masonwells, 33, who flew to Cairns to attend a friend’s birthday party on July 6, but never showed up.

The couple were last seen the previous evening, when they collected a restored panel van from a mechanics at Bungalow.

Their bodies were found in dense scrubland east of Cairns two weeks later.

Police had initially indicated further people could be charged over the couple’s death, but Detective Ed Kinbacher said they did not believe anyone else was involved.

“The reality is that (the involvement of other suspects) is considered extremely remote and unlikely,” Det Kinbacher told reporters in Cairns on Thursday.

“On the basis of the information we have at hand presently, the individual who has been charged was the sole person involved.”

He said the couple’s remains had been formally identified.

Det Kinbacher said it was likely the investigation would be scaled down later this week.

The murder charges against McGowan are listed for mention in Cairns Magistrates Court on September 3.

23 July 2012 – THE NORTH WEST STAR

MOUNT Isa residents have once again opened their hearts and wallets, in support of the families of deceased couple, Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells.21-year-old Daniel Graham, a friend of the couple, organised two sausage sizzles and an auction at the weekend to raise money for the Maitland and Masonwells families.

The two sausage sizzles at Colonial Shopping Centre and Super IGA raised more than $3200 and the auction raised $2070.

“I am absolutely rapt, the generosity of this town is unreal, we couldn’t ask for any better,” said Mr Graham.

He said 50kg of sausages, 20kg of onions and four palettes of bread were consumed over the two days.

“We had so much help too, we have a long list of people to thank,” Mr Graham said.

Mr Maitland and Ms Masonwells (pictured) were last seen on the evening of July 5, when they collected a restored Holden panel van from a workshop in the Cairns suburb of Bungalow.

Two bodies believed to be those of the couple were found last week in dense rainforest west of Cairns, after extensive investigations and searching by police.

Bungalow man Brandon Peter McGowan, 41, has been charged with murdering the couple and has been remanded in custody.

—MORE TO COME—


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The mystery disappearance of Scott Maitland (35) and his wife, Cindy Masonwells (33) after arriving in Cairns on 5 July 2012, from their home in Mt. Isa, has further deepened with the arrest on 14 July 2012 of Brandon Peter McGowan (41) who has been charged with their murder. 

With Police investigations continuing, their primary focus at present is locating the bodies of Mr. Maitland and Ms. Masonwells, with the search currently concentrated on dense, mountainous bushland and also the movements of a white 2001 Ford Econovan between 9.45pm on 5 July 2012 to 1.00am the following morning.   

The 1975 HJ Holden Sandman panel van at the centre of the mystery

While Police have confirmed that the couple’s Sandman panel van was “no longer part of its investigation” the vehicle has a connection with the victims and the accused murderer which only increases the mystery of their disappearance and deaths.

Another senseless and cowardly case of murder which leaves behind only questions, heartbreak and devastation for the victims’ family.  May they receive the answers to their questions and above all justice for their loved ones callously taken far too soon.

 

TIMELINE:

Between 17 and 18 April 2012 – Fully-restored 1975 HJ Holden Sandman panel van owned by Cindy Masonwells reported stolen from the workshop of Brandon Peter McGowan who was undertaking restoration works on the vehicle.  Vehicle was mysteriously located at a later date.

5 July 2012 – 8.45pm – Scott Maitland and Cindy arrive at Cairns Airport.  Last known sighting of the couple.

6 July 2012 – The couple were expected at a friend’s engagement party but failed to show up.  Scott’s mother attempts to phone her son, but the call went straight to voicemail.

8 July 2012 – Cindy was due at a girlfriend’s house during the day but did not turn up.

9 July 2012 – Scott’s father was phoned by one of his son’s friends to ask if he had seen the pair.  Friends subsequently reported the pair missing

12 July 2012 – Police hold a press conference with Scott’s father to alert media and the public of the missing couple.

13 July 2012 – Investigators arrive in Cairns from Brisbane to assist in the case.

The accused: Brandon McGowan and Scott and Cindy in happier times

14 July 2012 – Brandon Peter McGowan arrested by Police and charged with the couple’s murder.

16 July 2012 – Brandon Peter McGowan appears in Court on charges of murder.  Is remanded in custody to reappear at the Cairns Magistrates Court on 3 September 2012.

17 July 2012 – 3.00pm – Queensland Police Service establish a crime scene at Lake Morris Road, Cairns with Far Northern Region regional crime co-ordinator Det Insp Bruno Asnicar interviewed in response to queries of whether the bodies of the couple had been located said “All I can say is we’re getting close.”

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