Police are investigating after the murder of a woman of 26 – Ellie Price – in South Melbourne, a member of one of the country’s most infamous crime families.
Ricardo “Rick” Barbaro, a 33-year-old with links to the Gold Coast and the west of Melbourne, is on the run from police following the discovery on Monday afternoon of Ellie Price’s body in a townhouse on Park Lane.
Police think the body of Ms. Price might have lain undiscovered for up to a week.
Detective inspector Tim Day, the homicide squad chief, told The Age that Mr. Barbaro may have fled interstate.
He stated investigators from both the homicide squad and the fugitive task force, along with a number of other police forces, had undertaken a substantial search over the past three days for Mr. Barbaro, but were unsuccessful.
“At this stage we are looking in all states of Australia and interstate police are assisting us,” he said.
Mr. Barbaro is a scion of the mafia’s Barbaro crime family, an Australian branch, and slain Sydney underworld leader Pasquale Timothy Barbaro, 35, who was gunned down in a gangland attack in 2016.
When contacted Thursday morning by The Age, the family declined to comment.
Detectives spent Wednesday night negotiating with Mr. Barbaro’s family, visiting his father’s house, Giuseppe “Joe” Barbaro, in the west of Melbourne, trying to negotiate a surrender for the 33-year-old.
“We’ve relied on our own methodologies and inquiries to locate him, and 99 times out of 100 they’re successful, but at this stage we have not been able to locate him,” Detective Inspector Day said Thursday.
The senior officer has encouraged anyone who may have seen suspicious activity over the past fortnight in South Melbourne’s Park and Ferrars streets to contact police.
“We are looking for information from residents, and people in that area, during the two weeks leading up to April 29,” he said.
“In particular the afternoon of Tuesday the 28th and into the early hours of Wednesday the 29th last week.”
Police started looking for Mr Barbaro on Tuesday hoping to query the Queenslander after it was reported that since around October 2019 he had been in a casual relationship with Ellie Price, one’s mother.
Police had been called to two-storey Park Street townhouse of Ellie Price at the back of a residential complex after Monday’s family confirmed losing touch with the 26-year-old. They find her body inside. Detectives said she had been “significant assault”
Forensic investigators have spent over 24 hours trying to piece together what had happened inside. Neighbors were told to turn in any CCTV camera footage they might have had from the six days before.
Residents said their suburb pocket on the west side of Ferrars Street mainly housed families and elderly people and was typically free of violence.
Police sources have told The Age Ellie Price may have been dead for several days before it was discovered.
The Barbaro family are no newcomers to the spotlight, with proven ties to the Calabrian mafia.
Another of Mr Barbaro’s children, Queensland man Rossario Dom Barbaro, took his own life at age 28, a few months after the 2016 murder of his older sibling.
Another brother is Harley Barbaro, 27-year-old Gold Coast man and alleged leader of the Villains gang.
All four are sons of Joe Barbaro, a cousin of gangland icon Pasquale Barbaro, who was gunned down in a van alongside Jason Moran while attending a 2003 football training session for children in Essendon.
Joe Barbaro was jailed in Melbourne and Sydney for six years in 2005 for his involvement in an illegal drug ring.
His father and his uncle, both also known as Pasquale, were killed in gangland attacks-his father in 1990 in Brisbane.
In a brazen abduction, in 2004 Joe Barbaro’s baby daughter Montana, just three weeks old, was abducted from her car seat at a Brimbank shopping centre.
Two days later she was discovered in a derelict house in North Melbourne with a shaved head, after a passerby heard her shouts.
In 2012 another linked Pasquale Barbaro, Joe’s uncle’s friend, was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling into Melbourne what was then the largest ecstasy haul in the world.
Detective Inspector Day on Thursday said police knew the guy they wanted was in contact with family and friends. He warned those people that someone who has been caught harboring a fugitive or helping to flee could face serious criminal charges.
“Barbaro, this is not going to go away. This is an opportunity for you to come forward,” Detective Inspector Day stated.
“We have a young female, 26 years of age, who has died impulsively.
“She has a family who is grieving for her and a community that is needing and deserving of answers.”
Ricardo Barbaro is defined as 185 centimeters in height with a solid foundation, black hair and olive complexion.
Police said he is notorious for frequenting Melbourne’s north-west and west suburbs.
Detectives are also searching for the 2009 Toyota Hiace white van with 1OZ 8PC registration.
The victim’s car, a 2017 white E350 Mercedes sedan featuring distinctive 22ZERO pink numberplates, is missing from her house.
Police have released Ricardo Barbaro’s image and a photo close to that of the vehicle of Ellie Price in the hope that someone can provide information about his whereabouts.
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