The family of a central Victorian man who was found brutally assaulted in a shopping centre in Melbourne's north-east on Friday were too traumatised to recognise an alleged suspect caught on CCTV footage in relation to the crime was actually one of their other sons and the victim's brother.
Carol Cloke, the mother of the David Dick, 36, and Jonathan Dick, 39, cried during a press conference where the police appealed to the public for assistance yesterday as a CCTV image of a man carrying what is thought to be a sword was shown to media, according to News.com.au.
Along with her third son, Simon Dick, she was completely unaware that the man in the images was actually Jonathan.
"This family are under so much stress — I can't second guess why they wouldn't recognise him," Homicide Squad head Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said.
"Not one of them had an inkling that this could have even been a possibility."
Sitting through the press conference on Tuesday, Cloke was visibly distraught in light of the news of her son, David's death.
"Why does this happen? My son has been murdered," she said.
Victoria Police are searching for Jonathan in the belief that he could be related to the vicious assault and death of his brother David on Friday.
Homicide squad detectives have appealed for public assistance to help locate Jonathan after his brother David, from Seymour Victoria, was found at Doncaster Road shopping centre in Melbourne's north-east suffering head injuries at about 6am.
He later died at the scene.
Investigators understand Jonathan may be able to help police with their inquiries into the attack, saying he could be driving one of two vehicles -- a 1997 blue Ford Fairmont sedan registration ONV 954 or a 2002 white Ford Falcon station wagon registration RIL 435.
Police have released images of Jonathan and the vehicles in the hopes of locating him.
They believe he may be attempting to flee interstate, possibly to NSW or Queensland.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) February 8, 2017
Police initially believed the attack was targeted and began looking into the closest connections of David, including a photo of his brother that police compared to the CCTV footage.
"We're asking Jonathan if he does see the media, can he contact police, contact Crimestoppers or triple-0, and we will make ourselves available to him wherever he is," Inspector Hughes said.
David Dick was a concreter who followed a regular routine on his way to work each morning and is believed to have been intercepted by the attacker at around 6:10AM on Friday morning, according to News.com.au.
Investigators are yet to believe the attacker had a clear motive and used what is understood to have been a long-edge weapon before fleeing via a fire exit at the shopping centre.
"This was an incredibly brutal attack and David's family is devastated by his death," Inspector Hughes said.
"It is a targeted attack, there will be a connection. Whether they are known to each other we don't know but you don't spend time watching someone."