An Australian academic has been arrested on a tiny Pacific island two years after she vanished following a love triangle bloodbath which left her ex-partner a tetraplegic.
Dr Lisa Lines, 43, is being held on tiny 4km-long Koror, a lonely speck of land making up part of the Palau archipelago, population 18,024, lying 1,000km east of the Philippines and 1,000km north of Indonesia in the Western Pacific Ocean.
The mother of two disappeared in 2021, sparking an Interpol alert and an international manhunt until her arrest this week.
Her former lodger and secret lover, Zacharia Josef Bruckner, 36, was also arrested in Queensland on charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder.
The arrests follow an attack on Dr Lines’ ex-partner Jonathon Hawtin in 2017. He was struck repeatedly on the neck and head by an axe, suffering devastating injuries.
Mr Hawtin, the father of Dr Lines’ children, was left paralysed from the neck down and is now permanently confined to a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock care.
He was found in a pool of blood outside Dr Lines’ home in Littlehampton in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills in 2017, alongside Mr Bruckner, who had been shot in the stomach.
Australian academic Dr Lisa Lines has been arrested on the tiny Pacific island of Palau two years after she vanished following a love triangle bloodbath which left her ex-partner a tetraplegic
Jonathon Hawtin (pictured) the father of Dr Lines’ children, was left paralysed from the neck down and is now permanently confined to a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock care
Both men blamed each other for the attack.
Bruckner had been living with and working for Dr Lines prior to the axe attack on Mr Hawtin, who she had split up with three months earlier.
Mr Hawtin was later charged with attempted murder for shooting Bruckner but was cleared of all charges in 2019 in a court case where Dr Lines was a witness.
During the four-week trial, it emerged Dr Lines wanted to separate from Mr Hawtin in June 2017, and two months later she started a relationship with Bruckner.
She denied she wanted Mr Hawtin ‘out of the picture’ to avoid ongoing shared custody of her children. She no longer dates Mr Bruckner either, she said at the trial.
Jonathon Hawtin was later charged with the attempted murder of Dr Lines’ lodger and secret lover Zac Bruckner (pictured above) but a jury found him not guilty
Dr Lisa Lines, 43, is being held on tiny 4km-long Koror, a lonely speck of land making up part of the Palau archipelago
Dr Lines also refuted suggestions she was then involved in a relationship with a woman she met on a dating app.
The Supreme Court heard Mr Hawtin went to his ex-partner’s home to show Mr Bruckner his gun collection before allegedly shooting him with a rifle.
The court was told Mr Hawtin suspected Bruckner had been having an affair with Dr Lines after he had been living with the couple for ‘years’.
The couple insisted they did not begin a sexual relationship until August 2017 and believed they had kept it secret prior to the attack in October.
Dr Lisa Lines, 43, is being held on tiny 4km-long Koror, a lonely speck of land making up part of the Palau archipelago, population 18,024, lying 1,000km east of the Philippines and 1,000km north of Indonesia in the Western Pacific Ocean
South Australia Police Major Crime Investigation Branch launched a review into the case in 2020 and revealed in 2021 that Dr Lines had vanished overseas with her children.
A warrant for her arrest was issued in August 2022 and detectives used overseas police and federal authorities to track Dr Lines down to her remote Pacific hideaway home.
The warrant for her arrest alleges there was a second murder attempt on Mr Hawtin in January 2018, and an alleged plot with Bruckner to murder Mr Hawtin between December 2019 and August last year, reports the Adelaide Advertiser.
The warrant also alleges there was another murder plot to kill Mr Hawtin’s mother Rhonda.
A suppression order prohibiting the publication of the details of the case was revoked on Thursday.