Man in burnt-out camper died through misadventure

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Body found in burnt-out campervan near Portland.
Forensic experts examine the scene. PIC: 9News

Police believe that the 81-year-old man, whose body was found inside a burnt-out campervan last week, died through ‘misadventure’.

A crime scene was initially set up after the vehicle was discovered in bushland off the Cape Nelson Road near Portland on Victoria’s south-west coast last Monday.

Firefighters responding to reports of a grass fire arrived at the scene to find a campervan engulfed in flames.

A body, now identified as being Anton Gruber, was found in the white 1980-90s style campervan.

Detective Sergeant Jason von Tunk, of the Portland police crime investigation unit, said the man lived in the Yarra Ranges and was travelling in Portland.

“A coroner’s brief is being compiled by Portland detectives into the circumstances of the death,” he told The Warrnambool Standard. “At this stage we believe it was a result of misadventure … there are no suspicious circumstances and we do not believe it was a suicide.”

Detective Sergeant von Tunk said it was an unfortunate incident.

“It is a very sad end to someone’s holiday,” he told the Standard. “We would like to warn people not to use non-camping areas to sleep or start fires because tragedy can happen.”

In a completely unrelated incident, a 55-year-old man was found dead in a campervan parked at a New South Wales rest stop last month. There were initially some fears that the traveller might have been the victim of a robbery, but police later concluded he passed away due to natural causes.

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