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  • 51 years of age.
  • Aboriginal.
  • Approximately 172cm (5 feet 8 inches) tall.
  • Thin/Medium build.
  • Wearing dark grey trousers rolled up to the knees, blue belt, brown jumper, pink shirt and a navy blue overcoat.


  • Located on 26 June 1977, believed he could have been deceased for up to six weeks.
  • Lived in Perth and was not known to have any reason for being in the Kambalda area.
  • Located deceased lying under a small tree off Emu Rocks Road Kambalda.
  • Police believe this location was not the area where Mr Kelly was murdered, rather his body was placed at this location, post his death.
  • Was married and had one son at the time of his death.




James Paul Kelly was born in August 1925.  It is believed that Mr Kelly was married and had one son, he had no fixed address with his mail sent to an address in Claremont. Very little is known by police about Mr Kelly’s movements prior to his death.

Kambalda is predominantly a mining town which is divided into two main sections, Old Kambalda (or East Kambalda) and West Kambalda. Most of the towns population lives in West Kambalda.


On Sunday, 26 June 1977, Mr Kelly’s body was located near Emu Rocks, 14kms west of Kambalda. It was thought he had been deceased for at least six weeks, with his death suspected to have occurred between 26 April 1977 and 25 June 1977.

When Mr Kelly was found, he was five metres off a well-worn track, lying under a small tree, dressed in dark grey trousers rolled up to the knees, blue belt, brown jumper, pink shirt and navy blue overcoat. He was bare foot when found.

Police believe that Mr Kelly died at another location and was taken to the Emu Rocks area where he was located. It is not known how Mr Kelly came to be in the Kambalda area as he was from Perth and not known to frequent the Goldfields.

After the discovery of Mr Kelly’s body, a search of the area was conducted by Police and, a “Leopard Skin” patterned sleeping bag was located close by. It is unknown if this belonged to Mr Kelly.

The person or persons responsible for Mr Kelly’s murder have not yet been identified.

If you have any information about the death of James Paul Kelly or his movements around Western Australia prior to his death, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make an online report below. Please remember that you can remain anonymous if you wish and rewards are offered.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

Working Together by DuShong

The artwork titled ‘Working Together’ represents the Aboriginal tribes of Western Australia working together in harmony to rejuvenate the land by controlled fires.

In this artwork it also represents our community today working together to keep our neighbourhood safe from crime.

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