Michael Skinner
Michael Skinner Contributed

Missing man lay dead by the roadside for a month

IT was a tragic end for a lovable rogue.

Mackay mum Marie Cooke received a phone call from a police officer in Tiaro saying her missing brother, Michael Skinner, was the man found dead beside his crashed motorbike near Theebine. He had been missing for a month.

"I am still feeling numb at the moment," she said yesterday. We are still in disbelief that this has happened."

Mrs Cooke's family was left reeling after the death of her younger brother, David Skinner, who took his own life only two years ago.

She said the past few years had been particularly tough on her mum - Michael and David were her only siblings.

The last time she spoke to her big brother, who was well known as 'Mick', was when he called her on her birthday on August 27.

"He was on his way north to Mackay," she said.

"The last time he was here was for Dave's funeral... he wanted to catch up with everyone."

She describes her brother as an independent soul but said her concerns grew when she hadn't heard from him in two weeks, and his phone continued to go straight to message bank.

For more than a month Mrs Cooke worried about her brother. She even called police after hearing media reports of a headless corpse found outside of Gympie.

Police are still investigating the cause of Mr Skinner's crash. His body was found off the road, near an embankment in farmland outside Theebine.

"It's horrible to think he had been lying there for a month," she said. "But I am glad we can lay him to rest now."

Mr Skinner had made a home for himself in Derby in Western Australia, where he worked as an electrician. Mrs Cooke said he was a "lovable rogue" who would do anything for anyone.

The former St Patrick's College student had been living in the Kimberley for more than a decade.

"He had a really good heart... he was very adventurous, you know, he had no fear and he was a bit of risk-taker," she said.

Mr Skinner was a single bloke who loved living in the bush, she said. Mr Skinner will be buried close to his brother in a graveside service at Walkerston Cemetery on Friday, October 18, at 10am.

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