A MAN whose body was found bound and gagged in a sleeping bag in his shed was a simple, happy person who fixed cars and loved life.
Police have ruled the whiz mechanic killed himself – binding his own hands in cable ties, covering his head in a balaclava and wrapping a rag and cling film over his mouth.
His mother Paula Wright found his clothed body on a mattress in a shed on their Sunshine Coast property, with his feet protruding from a zipped sleeping bag.
Karl’s brother Byron told the inquest in Maroochydore he did not think it was possible for Karl to have done that to himself and then wriggled head first into the bag.
Each wrist was cable tied, and a third tie linked the two on his hands into a praying position.
The cling wrap was so tight over his mouth it sunk between his lips, however his nose was uncovered.
“My instincts say he was murdered,” said Byron.
Ms Wright said Karl sometimes passed out at the sight of blood or other frights and she believed that may have contributed to his death.
“I think he was frightened and he was so frightened that he passed out and something has happened to him after that,” she said.
The inquest heard Karl, who had a minor intellectual disability, had no secrets. He was close to his mum who made his bed daily and cleaned his room.
Although he couldn’t read or write, he didn’t mind as he had made a life going to the aid of people with car troubles – even strangers on the roadside.
He had no anxieties about money or relationships, no other stresses and didn’t own a computer.
He had an active social life, visiting neighbours sometimes three times a day, didn’t drink or take drugs, refusing even to use Panadol.
Ms Wright last saw him alive when she bade him goodnight on 28 July, 2013, as he watched one of his favourite English shows in the living room.
“He told me he was going to finish the show and was going to bed,” she said.
“That was the last time I saw him alive.”
The next morning, after feeding the chooks and horses, Mrs Wright tried to rouse Karl but found his bedroom door unusually locked from the inside.
She went outside and saw the bedroom window ajar and the fly screen removed and leaning against the house.
“In a panic I opened the window and climbed in,” she said. There was bark on the floor around the bed and wardrobe but no sign of Karl.
After a quick search outside Ms Wright went to the shed, which also was unusually locked, and made a horrifying discovery.
“There was a mattress on the floor and a green sleeping bag and feet sticking out,” she said.
“I knew it was him by the socks.
“I walked over and touched the sleeping bag. It felt like it was stiff.”
Karl’s aunt Ruth Gould, 56, said the sleeping bag was “very straight”, and did not look like it had been shuffled into.
The inquest heard the gag cloth was a scrap of rag from a collection Karl used during repairs.
The cable ties also appeared to be his own.
Byron told the inquest the mattress bore faeces and urine, and police told him to burn it “because they didn’t need it”.
He found more scraps of material twisted into rope and cable ties and cling wrap in the incinerator.
Ms Gould, 56, said she did not think police had investigated thoroughly enough before concluding suicide.
“I just don’t think they spoke to enough people. I feel that we had to push for them to speak to people,” she said.
“I myself got the impression that there wasn’t a huge investigation.”