DNA discovery takes unsolved death case on shocking turn

A huge breakthrough in a two-year investigation has taken a turn for North Queensland detectives after a key suspect in a man's mysterious death has refused to talk.

Detectives started digging into the cause of Lance Godbold's death after he was found in his Ingham home in 2018.

Police believe Mr Godbold was assaulted on the front lawn of his Conroy St home in the early hours of October 3, before he crawled back into his home.

The 66-year-old man was found with blood on his face and a bump on his head, but police believe he died of a heart attack after the assault.

Ingham man Lance Godbold who was found dead at his Conroy St home.
Ingham man Lance Godbold who was found dead at his Conroy St home.

Police were trying to determine whether the fatal heart attack was brought on by the fight.

Detectives initially made little headway finding the offender, who was seen driving from the scene in a ute.

They door knocked neighbours after the incident without any luck.

Their efforts finally paid off when a skin sample from underneath Mr Godbold's fingernails came back with a DNA match to an Ingham man.

Police suspected the skin was scratched off during the fight.

 

Police walk down Conroy Street, Ingham to speak with neighbours after Mr Godbold was found dead. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Police walk down Conroy Street, Ingham to speak with neighbours after Mr Godbold was found dead. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Ingham Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew Bye recently interviewed the man, but their lead hit a dead end.

"That person was interviewed and denied any knowledge of how the DNA was present," he said.

"He denied any knowledge of being there."

Det Snr Sgt Bye said it was disappointing to not have enough evidence to take the matter to court or prove any intent.

"That's the frustrating part … we put a lot of time and effort into this," he said.

Snr-Sgt Bye said Mr Godbold's death had significantly impacted the small community, including his wife Lynn Godbold.

"It's still not easy for her … she's just getting along day by day," he said.

The Townsville Bulletin reached out to Ms Godbold but she declined to comment.

Snr-Sgt Bye said a report is being prepared for the Coroner, who would take carriage of the investigation in the near future.

Originally published as DNA discovery takes unsolved death case on shocking turn

A forensic investigator at Mr Godbold’s home. Picture: Zak Simmonds
A forensic investigator at Mr Godbold’s home. Picture: Zak Simmonds