FORMER Casino grazier Jeffrey Ryan’s estranged wife Helen has been charged with his murder.
Tamworth police last night arrested and charged Mrs Ryan with the murder of her husband.
She was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, perverting the course of justice, and concealing a serious crime.
Mrs Ryan still lived on the Duri property of her husband, who was found dead near his house from a single gunshot wound to his back on October 24 this year.
The separated couple have a 13-year-old daughter.
The murder of the popular grazier had baffled family and friends.
Mr Ryan’s mother Marie, and son Ben, had publicly pleaded for anyone with information to come forward in an emotional appeal in November.
Tamworth detectives established Task Force Chandler with assistance from the State Crime Command to investigate the murder.
The task force detectives travelled to Casino last month to attend Mr Ryan’s funeral and to continue their investigations.
For the past six weeks detectives from the task force have carried out extensive inquiries, conducting forensic examinations and door- knocking properties surrounding the crime scene at Mr Ryan’s home.
Police divers and forensics officers, including specialist ballistics sniffer dogs and fire-arm experts, combed Mr Ryan’s property and neighbouring properties collecting evidence.
Police had recently sent a comprehensive questionnaire to 750 nearby properties to ensure no vital information has been missed.
Mr Ryan grew up in Casino where many of his family still live. He moved to Tamworth about 10 years ago.
He was a talented junior footballer and played for Casino RSM before a stint in Sydney rugby league under-20s.
He was a tradesman before following his father into cattle breeding, becoming well known in the industry.
He moved to Tamworth to further his cattle breeding ambitions.
Mrs Ryan will appear in court today. More charges are expected.
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