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Man’s body found in van ‘sprayed with bullets’ on EastLink

While police believe they know who the victim is they said he’s yet to be formally identified. The 46-year-old Croydon man was the only person found inside the van at Donvale.

Shortly after the call to Donvale, police responded to reports of a burnt out sedan that had been dumped at Mooroolbark, about 2.40am, and a ute found abandoned in the middle of the Mountain Highway near Scoresby Road at Bayswater, about 3.30am.

A ute is seen on the Mountain Highway in Bayswater.

A ute is seen on the Mountain Highway in Bayswater.Credit:Julian Smith

Detective Acting Inspector Peter Trichias said everything was being done to try and identify those responsible.

“We just want to reassure the community that the shooting itself does not appear to be random, it appears to be a targeted attack,” he said.

“However just bear in mind that the investigation is still early.

“At this stage we’re pretty confident we know who the victim is, but we’re yet to formally identify that person.”

Bayswater crime scene.

Bayswater crime scene.Credit:Julian Smith

The crime scene closed the freeway and nearby tunnel for more than nine hours as investigators tried to piece together whether the man was shot while driving or in a nearby suburb.

State Emergency Service personnel were also called in to preserve the three suspected crimes scenes, with tents erected and large areas cordoned off while more than 20 police scoured nearby streets and parkland for clues.

Inspector Trichias said early indications suggest that those involved in the shooting may have dumped the ute in Bayswater and fled on foot through a nearby reserve.

He said there was no information to suggest the shooting was an act of retaliation and police were still searching for the weapon involved.

Police conduct a line search at Dandenong Creek in Bayswater on Saturday, after a man was found dead in a van on the EastLink Freeway

Police conduct a line search at Dandenong Creek in Bayswater on Saturday, after a man was found dead in a van on the EastLink FreewayCredit:Julian Smith, AAP

He urged anyone who may have seen or heard anything in those areas on Saturday morning to contact Crime Stoppers.

“We really want people to come forward who have seen what has occurred, or have heard what has occurred or even known the people who are actually involved to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers,” Inspector Trichias said.

“I can tell you that there is likely to be more than one person involved.

“It does not appear to be a random attack, it appears to be a targeted attack.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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