Two 17-year-olds have been charged with murder in relation to the death of Canberra man Peter Keeley earlier this month.
Keeley, 56, was found dead in bushland near Broulee on the New South Wales south coast on 2 February, The Guardian has reported.
The two teens charged with his murder allegedly met him through gay hookup app Grindr.
A third 17-year-old has been arrested and was also expected to be charged.
New South Wales police detective superintendent Danny Doherty said that police were looking into the role of Grindr in the alleged murder, as well as possible motives.
“One of the lines of inquiry is the method of communication used by the victim,” he said.
“That was investigated, and a number of dating apps were used, and one of those was Grindr.”
Doherty said that police were investigating whether Keeley’s death may have been an anti-gay hate crime.
“There’s a number of motives that I can’t talk about and can’t elaborate on,” he said.
“We have to look at other considerations, such as whether there was anything drug-related, whether it was robbery-related, or whether it was a hate crime.
“It’s unclear at this stage.”
Keeley’s family thanked friends for their support as they coped with his death.
“All that can be said is we have been deeply affected by this tragedy and we are still grieving,” they said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from family and friends.”
A number of violent incidents and other crimes over recent years have involved Grindr.
Many users have lately been targeted by scammers using the app to fraudulently gain credit card information.
A man was jailed in 2018 for impersonating a police officer on Grindr to extort money from another user.
In 2017, two Perth men received jail terms over a series of Grindr-linked assaults, and just last year, a Brisbane man reported being assaulted and having his car stolen after meeting someone from the app.
Anyone with information that may assist police is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.