Forensic police dust a phone box for fingerprints in Coleridge Street in Riverwood. Photo: Kate Geraghty Roddy Carino, 19, died in St George Hospital. Photo: Facebook
Police have taped off Price Lane in Riverwood, where a man was found critically injured. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Police remained at the scene in the laneway on Wednesday morning. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Steven Ripley, the half brother of Roddy Carino, leads a Maori prayer ceremony in the lane where his half brother died in Riverwood. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
Man found unconscious in laneway dies in hospital
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Steven Ripley posted a one-line message on Facebook asking if anyone had seen his brother, Roddy.
The message he received in response was unsettling.
“Hello Steven,” wrote a relative. “Your brother is in St George Hospital.”
Roddy Carino, 21, had been found lying unconscious and critically injured in Price Lane in Riverwood, in Sydney’s south-west, just before 1am on Wednesday.
Paramedics took him to St George Hospital, but he died a short time later from his injuries.
Acting Superintendent Scott Bingham said police were treating the young man’s death as suspicious.
Mr Carino, the father of a young child, had been sharing a room with his 23-year-old brother, Steven Ripley, at a boarding house about 100 metres from the lane where he died.
Mr Ripley said his brother had just saved enough money for a bond and the two of them were planning to find their own place.
“I’m totally gutted. I just don’t want to believe this has happened,” he said.
“He was a good boy, he was a good young man. It’s a tragic loss.”
Mr Ripley also said his brother was a “loving and caring father” to his child.
“We don’t know what has happened so far … and we just ask that if anybody knows anything please come forward and say something.”
Mr Carino, who worked as a painter, was one of eight siblings. Mr Carino has extended family in New Zealand, and Mr Ripley and a group of men performed the haka in Price Lane on Wednesday morning to honour him.
“We say a prayer, sing a song in our language and the men do a haka,” one friend said.
“It’s just a cleansing to send him off so we don’t leave him here.”
Another of Mr Carino’s friends, Markira Galea, 19, said Mr Carino was set upon in the lane while he was heading home from work.
She had been told her friend may have exited Riverwood train station and was walking to his nearby home when he stopped in the lane to relieve himself, and was attacked.
“We are just all in shock,” she said.
“He literally just had to walk down this alleyway and there was his house.”
Just how Mr Carino came to be lying in the lane is now the focus of a police investigation centred on an anonymous phone call that was made from a nearby public phone box, alerting police that the man was injured.
That phone call, at 12.50am, was made from a phone box on Coleridge Street, which intersects with Price Lane, and could prove vital in determining how Mr Carino was injured, Acting Superintendent Bingham said.
“We would be calling at this stage for the person that made the phone call from the telephone box, if they could recontact police and assist us with our inquiries,” he said.
The exact cause of Mr Carino’s death is not yet known, however police said he had not been shot or stabbed.
Distraught friends arrived at the crime scene on Wednesday morning, hugging and supporting each other. They planned to hold a Maori ceremony to farewell his spirit.
One of Mr Carino’s close relatives was helping police to outline his last known movements, while friends said Mr Carino’s parents lived in Newcastle and were making their way to Sydney. He also has extended family in New Zealand.
Acting Superintendent Bingham said the victim was not previously known to NSW Police.
He said two people who were walking down Price Lane also came across the injured man, and made a separate triple zero call and provided first aid to him. It was not known what time the second phone call was made.
Those two witnesses were speaking to police on Wednesday morning.
“Those witnesses actually walked down the lane and came across the male as he was lying on the roadway,” Acting Superintendent Bingham said.
“We are aware that one of those witnesses actually assisted with first aid at the time, and the other one made a separate phone call to triple zero.
“We’d be asking if there’s anyone else that was down there, or anyone that used that phone box or saw anything in the area just before 1am this morning, if they could contact us here at St George or through Crime Stoppers.”
One of those witnesses is believed to have known Mr Carino.
Officers from the St George Local Area Command have set up a large crime scene in Riverwood, and have taped off the lane and the public phone box on Coleridge Street, which is outside a gym.
Forensic police could be seen dusting the phone box for fingerprints.
Price Lane stretches for about 100 metres between Coleridge Street and Morotai Avenue and runs directly behind the busy strip of Belmore Road.
Detectives were also doorknocking homes and businesses in the area, searching for possible CCTV footage.
Anyone with information has been urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers online reporting page. */]]>
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