DIGGERS REST: Body found in burnt-out car identified

Police have identified the mysterious burnt body-in-the-boot found at Diggers Rest last week as Footscray man Kenan Balikel.

On Friday, the 42-year-old’s charred remains were found in the burnt-out car on the Bulla-Diggers Rest Road at 12.20am.

Homicide Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said Mr Balikel’s remains were identified through fingerprint records on the weekend. Now the investigation has shifted to finding anyone who made contact with the dead man on Thursday.

“We would like to piece together Mr Balikel’s movements after about 3pm last Thursday,” Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said.

He said Mr Balikel was driving a 2010 white Mercedes Sprinter van to Freight Road, Tullamarine, on Thursday.

“We believe he was at a factory in Freight Road, near Mickleham Road, from 2 until 3pm as he was having a car repaired,” he said.

“This was the last time, which we are aware of, that Kenan was seen.” 

Police also released an image of a car similar to the one Mr Balikel was found in – a Peugeot 407 wagon.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said the wagon was bought through Pickles Auctions in July last year, was not registered and did not have number plates.

The wagon may have been parked near 9 Freight Road, facing Mickleham Road, at 9.30pm on Thursday.

“We are very interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen the unregistered Peugeot wagon on Thursday,” Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said.

“Detectives would also like to speak to anyone who had contact with Kenan or with anyone who is able to account for Kenan’s movements after 3pm.” 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

This story first appeared in The Age