THE family of a Bunbury man who was involved in a fight and later died have made an emotional appeal to the public to come forward with information that might help them get some answers.
Forty-eight-year-old Gary Welhan was found collapsed on the Spencer Street footpath near the Geographe Ford dealership at 8.20pm on Sunday, November 2.
Mr Welhan was walking with his dog when the incident occurred.
Major Crime Squad Detective Senior Sergeant James Bradley said CCTV footage from a local business had shown Mr Welhan was involved in an altercation with a male person before he was found.
The man was dressed in dark clothing and rode away from the scene on a BMX bicycle.
Mr Welhan’s sister Tina Watt fronted local media today backed up by family members to ask the community to help the investigation.
“It doesn’t feel like we can move on until we can get some answers and we’ve just been waiting so long to get some answers and there’s just none,” Mrs Watt said.
She described her brother as a “gentle soul” who loved his family dearly.
“Someone’s obviously come across him and there was words spoken and that witness has disappeared and we’d love for him to come forward,” Mrs Watt said.
“[Gary] was a caring person, a loving uncle, a beautiful brother and soon to be great-uncle again and if there’s any witnesses just come forward.
“Just anything at all would be a help so we can put our brother to rest.”
Mrs Watt said there was a “huge gap” from the last time someone had seen Mr Welhan until he was found on Spencer Street on Sunday night.
“From 12 o’clock in the afternoon to 8.30pm or 9pm at night no one knows where he was, there’s this huge gap, if anyone saw him – maybe he was sitting down the beach or in a park or something so we could go from that and move on with some more information.”
Mrs Watt said Mr Welhan regularly walked his dog around the Spencer Street area and residents may recognise him.
Her sadness turned to frustration as she urged the community to act, not sit back and let crime happen around them.
“You feel like you’re in the country and you’re protected and you know each other but it doesn’t matter, people don’t know each other because you’re not coming forward,” Mrs Watt said.
“If we were more community-based and we stuck together and when you do see things, when you pull open your curtains and you see things report them to Crime Stoppers, it matters.
“And that’s why [police] are there to help us put everything together because we can’t, we don’t have any information, we’ve got nothing, he’s gone forever and that’s it.”
But the family thanked the people that found Mr Welhan and helped him to get to the hospital.
Now me and my brother and sister are three, not four, and we will miss him terribly.Tina Watt, sister of Gary Welhan.
“Some people stayed with them, I’m not sure who they were, my family and I would just like to say thank you to those people who stayed with my brother until he was able to be taken to the hospital, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart,” Mrs Watt said.
“He may not have had much to his name but he would always share his last coin and loved his nieces and nephews to bits, he would always spoil them however he could and loved to be around his family.
“Now me and my brother and sister are three, not four, and we will miss him terribly.”
As well as the BMX rider, Senior Sergeant Bradley said police were particularly interested in talking to the drivers and passengers of a white Magna, a white Mitsubishi Lancer and a white van which are seen on CCTV driving past the scene of the incident.
“I’m very confident that the person that is responsible for this knows that we want to talk to him and what we are imploring him to do is hand himself in so that we can talk to him about the matter,” Senior Sergeant Bradley said.
“Somebody out there knows this person...and know that he rides this bike and we’re also asking those people to come forward.”
Police have not received any information from the public since they first issued a call-out on Tuesday.
If you have any information, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.