The scene where Mr Neilsen's car crashed.
The scene where Mr Neilsen's car crashed.

Crash victim identified as man with ‘heart of gold’

"A HEART of gold" are the words used to describe Bowen man Joel Nielsen, who has been identified as the man whose body was tragically found under a Whitsundays bridge up to four weeks after the car he was travelling in crashed.

Mr Neilsen's body was found by a member of the public in Bowen on the afternoon of January 8 under the Jack Phillips Bridge on Peter Delemonthe Rd.

The scene where Mr Neilsen's car crashed. Picture: Supplied, Queensland Police Service.
The scene where Mr Neilsen's car crashed. Picture: Supplied, Queensland Police Service.

However it's understood police believe the crash that killed Mr Neilsen may have occurred weeks earlier, with investigators exploring the possibility the car was crashed anytime from December 10.

Posting on social media to pay tribute to her 35-year-old brother, Cali Golledgethanked family and friends for their support.

"Thank you to everyone for your messages and thoughts at this very emotional and difficult time for my family and I," Ms Golledge said.

"I cannot begin to even think of any words to describe how we are feeling.

"My brother has been taken way too soon from us and I would do absolutely anything to bring him back to us safe and well."



One of Mr Neilsen's friends, Tanya Maree, took to Facebook to share what a good bloke her mate was.

"Taken way to soon. He had a Heart of gold," she said.

Ms Maree had posted on Facebook the week before Mr Nielsen's body was found, asking if anyone had seen him.

"Has anyone seen or heard from Joel Nielsen? Everyone's getting worried as been over two weeks since anyone's had contact with him," she wrote on January 3.

Again on January 7, Ms Maree made a status about her missing mate.

"Still no word from you … True god (sic) making me stress the hell out for ya (sic) Joely."
"I miss ya (sic) mate."



Police are still unclear on the exact cause and time of the horrific crash that claimed Mr Neilsen's life, but are appealing for information as investigations continue.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who may have seen the black old-style Nissan Navara Mr Neilsen was travelling in around the Bogie area between December 10, 2019 and January 7 to contact Policelink on 131444 and contact this reference number: QP2000049766