POLICE have charged two men overnight over the death of a 14-year-old autistic boy in Scarsdale yesterday.
Joel Henderson, a 39-year-old from Wendouree, was charged with one count of murder about midnight.
Earlier in the evening, Ballarat man Darren Wilson, aged 35, was also charged with one count of murder.
Both men appeared before out of sessions court hearings and have been remanded in custody to appear at Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on tomorrow.
A 28-year-old Ballarat woman has been released pending further inquiries.
The boy, whose name has been reported as Tim O'Brien, was struck to the head with a heavy, blunt weapon.
He died at the scene of 12 Carlyle Street, shortly before 5am yesterday morning.
Homicide Squad Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Sol Solomon said police believed the boy and his step-father had arrived at the property to help three teenagers, including two girls aged 19 and 17, who had gone to their house for help after feeling threatened by noises.
A 16-year-old boy was also in the house where the incident occurred.
An altercation ensued and the alleged assailants fled in an unknown vehicle.
Police were called shortly before 5am by one of the girls, who had fled to a nearby paddock.
It is understood one of the girls had received a call from a voice whispering threats before the incident.
It is understood the boy was dead when paramedics arrived, shortly before 5am.
The dead teenager's step-father also sustained minor facial cuts in the incident.
Police could not confirm if the girls were related to the dead teenager or if the deceased was a local boy.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Solomon said information was still sketchy as police were still interviewing the step-father and three teenagers from the house where the incident occurred.
Homicide detectives were called from Melbourne this morning and detectives were scouring the area for information, including the murder weapon, for most of the day.
Linton police Leading Senior Constable Tony Walker was among the first officers at Carlyle Street and told The Courier tonight that it had been a long day taking witness statements.
The homicide squad carried the bulk of the investigative work but Leading Senior Constable Walker said Ballarat officers had been working to piece together what they believed had happened from their initial impressions, witness statements and local knowledge.
Ambulance Victoria rural spokesman John Mullen said ambulance officers were called to the scene at 4.54am.
Mr Mullen said the boy was already dead when ambulance officers arrived.
Ambulance officers were at the scene for about an hour and left after consultation with police.
Mr Mullen said paramedics did not treat anyone on the scene or transport anyone to hospital.
Ballarat police are assisting detectives with their inquiries.
This morning, the Scarsdale Community Park was cordoned off as police carried out their investigation.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au