Mark ‘Frosty’ Frost with his Murwillumbah Show Society sash
The couple charged with allegedly abducting a respected private school French teacher before he was hit by a truck and died are award-winning vegetable farmers.
Anthony Stott, 43, was fatally struck by a truck on a highway in northern New South Wales less than 24 hours after stepping off a plane from Brisbane airport.
He was returning from a holiday in Peru, via Sydney, and was last seen alive on CCTV stepping off a connecting flight.
Police have claimed Mr Stott allegedly ended up ‘tied to a chair’ at a farm at Cudgera Creek but somehow escaped to a nearby road, where he was hit by a truck.
Officers have charged Mark Francis Frost, 46 – known locally as Frosty – and Lauren Claire Grainger, 38 each with an alleged offence of take/detain person in company with intention to obtain advantage.
The pair are part of a team of vegetable and flower farmers who won Best Lettuce and Best Tomato at the Murwillumbah show last year. Their tomatoes and flowers were regularly sold at a local farmer’s markets and stores.
What happened? Anthony Stott, 43, was a respected French teacher at Brisbane’s St Peters Lutheran College – but died after a alleged series of events
Mr Stott was last seen alive landing at Brisbane Airport, he was then allegedly abducted and beaten at a property in Cudgera Creek in norther NSW. He was fatally hit by a semi-trailer on the M1
Both have been refused bail.
A neighbouring farmer said of Frost: ‘He seems like a f***ing nice guy, he always just came across as a genuine bloke.
‘He was always professional in a sense – he was doing a business maintaining a farm.’
The couple were previously witnesses in a trial involving NRL footballer Craig Field several years ago.
Another photograph of the accused, Frost
Puzzled investigators are examining how and why Mr Stott – a well-respected teacher at St Peters Lutheran College – ended up at their Kane St property.
One theory is he may have been kidnapped from his home, 130km away, in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
He was allegedly tied to a chair and brutally bashed with a golf club while being held captive at Cudgera Creek, where Frost and Grainger live, The Courier Mail reported. Police are probing whether Mr Stott was known to the couple.
‘We do not know what that relationship is, we don’t know how he ended up in their house or why he ended up there,’ Detective Acting Superintendent Brendon Cullen told reporters.
‘What we do know is he was there and he was detained against his will there… what we don’t know what happened after he left that place.’
Supt Cullen said police believe Mr Stott suffered injuries while being restrained on the couple’s property.
Police dogs and divers are now combing the property, which Grainger and Frost use to grow produce for farmers’ markets.
Anthony Stott was last seen at Brisbane airport at 3pm on Sunday after returning from a holiday to Peru
A neighbour reported hearing several cars screeching out of the address after a loud bang noise came from the highway.
Mr Stott’s silver BMW had been found abandoned on the highway, close to the couple’s property, several hours before he was killed.
‘We want to speak with anyone on the NSW Far North Coast or across the border in Queensland who may have had dealings with or had spoken with him since Sunday 9 February,’ Supt Cullen said.
‘We’re also wanting to speak with anyone who may have seen his vehicle on Sunday afternoon– a silver BMW with NSW registration ANL 72Y.
Mr Stott’s silver BMW had been found abandoned on the highway, close to the couple’s property, several hours before he was killed
‘Piecing together his movements in the 24-hours prior to his death is crucial and I urge anyone who may have any information to contact Crime Stoppers.’
Investigators aren’t ruling out the involvement of illicit drugs in Mr Stott’s death and alleged abduction, but noted the teacher was ‘by all accounts a fine member of the public’.
Supt Cullen also said at this stage there is no evidence pointing to connections to bikie gangs.
Police are wanting to speak with anyone who may have seen his vehicle on Sunday afternoon– a silver BMW with NSW registration ANL 72Y
Frost and Grainger were refused bail on Tuesday at Tweed Heads Local Court.
Magistrate Geoff Dunleavy said the alleged abduction was ‘violent’ and there was sufficient evidence to support the police allegations.
St Peters Lutheran College Springfield says it has been ‘devastated’ by Mr Stott’s ‘tragic passing’.
‘Mr Stott was a primary school teacher at the College from 2018 and was a popular and well-regarded member of our community,’ the school said in a statement.
‘This is a very difficult time for the St Peters community and the College is offering support to Mr Stott’s family as well as staff, students and families.
‘Out of respect for Mr Stott’s family, and because this is now an active Police investigation, it is not appropriate for the College to make any further public comment.’
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Anthony Stott, 43, taught French at St Peters Lutheran College, a prestigious $24,000-a-year school in Brisbane