UPDATED

Bingara murder: 47 and 48-year-old men being questioned in connection to suspected murder of Darren Willis in Bingara in 2010 | update

TWO men were still being questioned by detectives on Friday night into their alleged involvement in the disappearance and suspected murder of a man almost nine years ago.

Detectives got the breakthrough they needed on Friday morning in the cold-case murder investigation of Darren Royce Willis, arresting the two men in Bingara.

Late on Friday, both suspects, aged 47 and 48, were being questioned separately at Moree police station by detectives, but no charges had been laid.

New England Superintendent Scott Tanner said officers expected to lay charges on Friday night, alleging the pair were involved in the disappearance and murder of Mr Willis in 2010.

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Police allege Mr Willis was killed in the Bingara area in December 2010 but his remains have never been found.

Investigators were hoping two crime scene warrants that were executed at two Bingara homes on Friday would help shed light and glean further evidence into the whereabouts of Mr Willis' remains.

"They've been working around the clock in regards to that investigation which resulted in the arrests [on Friday]," Superintendent Tanner said.

"The investigators from Moree have been in contact with the family, they have been notified; and whilst this does give some closure to the events, the family, like police, are very keen to find the remains of Mr Willis."

The men, aged 47 and 48, were arrested separately - the first on a property outside of town at 10.30am, and the second at a home in town about 30 minutes after.

It will be the police case that the men were known to Mr Willis, but much of the details surrounding the police case is yet to be revealed.

"Over the last two years with Strike Force Barca, they've developed a number of strategies around the investigation; they've become aware of certain information that the community has provided and police have acted upon that," he said.

Superintendent Tanner said "this heinous crime" was "quite rare" for Bingara and it had had a "massive affect not only onto the family of Mr Willis but on the community" as well.

"This is a town where everyone knows everybody," he said.

Superintendent Tanner also praised the dogged detectives who have been working on the cold-case for close to two years.

"I want to commend the investigators for the persistence they have shown to get a result for the family of Mr Willis, and that round-the-clock work as part of this protracted investigation has culminated in the arrests of these men," he said.

"I also want to thank the community members that came forward as part of the police investigation and provided crucial evidence in this case.

"I would also make an appeal for anyone who has knowledge or the events that occurred around the time of Mr Willis' disappearance in 2010 in Bingara, or anything afterwards, to please come forward.

"We have two arrests but the investigation is far from over and we need to ensure we can provide the family the closure they need and locate the remains of Mr Willis.

"So anyone that has information is urged to contact detectives at Moree police station."

Mr Willis was last seen leaving the Imperial Hotel in Bingara on the night of December 10.

Mr Willis' body has never been found, but a breakthrough in the case in 2018 turned the long-term missing person report into a murder cold case - prompting a $350,000 reward for any information that leads police to his killers.

Strike Force Barca was set-up almost two years ago by Moree detectives after the tip-off to police with new evidence.

In February, a 1980 model XD Ford ute - which detectives believe was used in the suspicious disappearance of Mr Willis before his body was dumped - was seized and tested by police.

In May 2018, as part of the murder probe, specialist officers and divers combed the river and its banks in the Eaglehawk Reserve, or Four Mile area as it's known to locals, on the outskirts of Bingara.

Investigations continue into bones

Police have also confirmed bones found at a property north of Bingara last week are now not believed to be connected to the murder investigation.

Superintendent Tanner said preliminary results from police investigations had revealed the remains are not thought to be those of Mr Willis or part of Strike Force Barca.

"Police can state that we do not believe the bones are related to this investigation. They are part of a separate investigation which again is not associated with police," Superintendent Tanner said.

He said investigations were continuing into the items and remains seized and they would await the results of DNA and specialist forensic testing.

Vital clues: The 1980 model XD Ford Falcon ute police believe was involved in the killing of Darren Willis, inset right. Also inset: Detective Inspector Ann Joy. Photos: NSW Police, Steven Green

Vital clues: The 1980 model XD Ford Falcon ute police believe was involved in the killing of Darren Willis, inset right. Also inset: Detective Inspector Ann Joy. Photos: NSW Police, Steven Green

EARLIER: FRIDAY MORNING

TWO men have been arrested in connection to the suspected murder of a Bingara man almost nine years ago.

Detectives swooped on Friday at about 10.30am, arresting the pair, aged 47 and 48, in the Bingara area.

The men have been taken to Moree police station where they will be questioned in relation to the cold-case disappearance of Darren Royce Willis.

They remain in custody and no charges have been laid but police are set to front the media on Friday afternoon.

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Police suspect Mr Willis was killed in Bingara in 2010. His remains have never been found.

Earlier this week, theLeader revealed detectives were examining if bones found on a property near Bingara on October 18 were that of Mr Willis.

Last Friday, a local farmer found the human bones on their property just out of town, sparking a major police operation.

Moree detectives, forensic police from Inverell and local police spent several days scouring the property out of town as they try and determine the bones' identity.

Senior police said the bones had been seized and transferred to a specialist forensic lab for DNA testing, but it could take weeks for the results.

Police were remaining tight-lipped on where the property is, as well as what other evidence was discovered at the scene.

Mr Willis was last seen leaving the Imperial Hotel in Bingara on the night of December 10. Strike Force Barca - an operation by Moree detectives - has been trying to piece together what happened that night.

Mr Willis' body has never been found, but a breakthrough in the case in 2018 turned the long-term missing person report into a murder cold case - prompting a $350,000 reward for any information that leads police to his killers.

Strike Force Barca confirmed in February there was "persons of interest" in the case, but key details on the investigation were kept under wraps.

In February, a 1980 model XD Ford ute - which detectives believe was used in the suspicious disappearance of Mr Willis before his body was dumped - was seized and tested by police.

In May 2018, as part of the murder probe, specialist officers and divers combed the river and its banks in the Eaglehawk Reserve, or Four Mile area as it's known to locals, on the outskirts of Bingara.

This story Two arrests, two raids: men questioned about suspected murder first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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