Mystery as mum’s decomposing body found being eaten by dog in her garden as family dismiss ‘suicide’ ruling | The Sun
18th August 2023

THE family of a mother of two whose body was found being eaten by a dog are still fighting to learn the truth of her death.

Lasonya Dutton, 31, had been missing for a few days before her decomposing body was discovered in March 2022.

It was her uncle, Merle Dutton, who tragically found her in the backyard of her family home in the remote town of Wilcannia in north-west NSW.

The small town, of fewer than 750 residents, was rocked by Lasonya's death, with police calling it suicide.

This was after an electrical cord was found near her body.

However, her family believe she was murdered.

A coroner stated in an autopsy report that 'third-party involvement' could not be ruled out after finding the circumstances of Lasonya's death suspicious.

And 18 months on, her family are continuing to fight for justice, although they are no closer to finding out the real truth.

Lasonya's father, Keith Dutton, is adamant his daughter did not commit suicide because she loved life as well as her two children.

He told Adelaide Advertiser: "Me and my family believe that she has been murdered.

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"In that autopsy report, it states that you can't exclude a third party and it goes on to say that it was thoroughly investigated.

"I don't know how the police come to the conclusion that a full investigation has been done.

"I'm horrified, to be honest with you. My family knows, and half of Wilcannia knows… I'm ready to explode."

Mr. Dutton said the family home was a 'drop-in centre' for locals and was baffled that no-one saw her lying in the backyard for so long.

He also revealed the rumours of Lasonya being assaulted on the Friday night she was last seen, before a bloodied knife was found at the local oval.

A neighbour then told Mr Dutton that they saw two people appearing to attempt to enter Lasonya's home the night before she was found.

But officers "didn't want to hear it" when Lasonya's father went to them with these claims.

When her uncle found her body, he initially assumed the dog was eating a kangaroo.

Merle Dutton said: "I didn't think anything of it until I got up a bit closer, then I realised it was a human being.

"I just ran out screaming and screaming."

He claims police never took a formal statement from him, despite being the one who found Lasonya's body.

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However, NSW Police insists it explored various lines of inquiry into the death of Lasonya and had engaged with the family multiple times during the investigation.

But the NSW Coroner's Court has now taken over the investigation and is working toward a coronial inquest.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123
  • Movember,
  • Anxiety UK, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

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