An Adelaide man was held against his will and assaulted for up to a week before being murdered due to drug debts, police say.
Robert Atkins, 29, from the city’s southern suburbs, was reported missing in January but has not used his mobile phone or bank account since November.
South Australian Police revealed on Friday the missing person case of the Christie Downs man had been declared a major crime with Detective Inspector Brett Featherby certain Mr Atkins had been murdered.
“What we are aware of is Robert was held against his will and assaulted for four to seven days prior to his death,” the senior major crime detective said on Friday.
Mr Featherby said there was “no doubt” the 29-year-old had been murdered because of a drug-related debt but the body of Mr Atkins had not been found.
The man was known to be involved in the “street level” drug scene in the southern suburbs and moved from a house to house.
But investigators have zeroed in on a house in Mander Rd in Christie Downs where a number of items have been seized by police.
“Police know that there are people out there who have knowledge of Robert’s death, including people to whom he may have owed money,” Mr Featherby said.
“Police are also focusing on witnesses who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Mander Rd, Christie Downs, from early to mid-November.”
The senior cop said Mr Atkins’s parents and close friends missed the suspected murder victim despite 29-year-old’s irregular contact with family.
“We are seeking people to come forward and do the right thing by Robert’s family and provide information which will help us arrest those responsible for his murder,” Mr Featherby said.
“I encourage anybody with knowledge of events leading up to this murder to call Crime Stoppers.”