Image from Facebook Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek, on August 16. Mr Czarnecki was a former leader of the secretive religious sect Twelve Tribes in Picton that is known for its harsh disciplining of young children.
Image from Facebook Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek, on August 16. Mr Czarnecki was a former leader of the secretive religious sect Twelve Tribes in Picton that is known for its harsh disciplining of young children.

Former cult leader identified as murder victim

A FORMER controversial cult leader has been identified as the murder victim whose body was found in a house fire near Kyogle last month.

Emergency crews had been called to a rural property on Smiths Creek Rd, Smiths Creek, west of Kyogle on Sunday, August 16 after they received reports the home was well alight.

Local detectives, assisted by the State Crime Command, established Strike Force Kumulla to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire.

The body of Chen - also known as Scott - Czarnecki, 64, was found in the remnants of the home.

Mr Czarnecki was a former leader of the secretive religious sect Twelve Tribes in Picton, which was known for its harsh disciplining of young children.

The Daily Telegraph reports Mr Czarnecki moved to northern NSW after leaving the controversial sect about a decade ago.

It is understood he had been living in Smiths Creek.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has since been charged with murder, inappropriately interfering with a corpse and destroying property over the weekend.

Earlier this week, Magistrate Paul MacMahon granted forensic applications for the boy to undergo buccal swabs, which would collect DNA from the inside of his cheek, in order to assist the investigation.

The teen has been ordered to undergo the forensic testing within seven days.

He is also facing several separate charges and was on bail at the time of the alleged murder.

Magistrate MacMahon revoked the teen's bail and adjourned all his matters to be heard at Lismore Children's Court on October 30.

The teen has entered no formal pleas to any of his charges.



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