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Operation Lucy team remain confident & determined

Operation Lucy team remain confident and determined

The investigation into the death of Birgit Brauer on Tuesday 20th September 2005 continues. The enquiry team remain confident and determined.

The investigation team continue to receive and sift through a large amount of information that has been supplied by the public and this information has been very helpful.

Today the body of Birgit Brauer is being returned to Germany and the investigation team offer their condolences to all family members.

The Dominion Post edition of September 30, 2005 included a front page article about the murder of Birgit Brauer which included comments as to the criminal record and previous character of a man (not named) in the context of him being a suspect in the murder investigation. The Police are aware of this man and do not regard him as a suspect. But if he had been, and was later charged with the murder, then this reporting might very well have prejudiced his right to a fair trial.

The vehicle that was found abandoned in the Ohau River on the Muhunoa West Road, 4 kilometres south of Levin is still being examined, but at this stage it has not been positively linked to the crime and the results of this examination may take some time. As soon as the result of this examination is known, we will be able to confirm that the vehicle is involved or eliminate it from the enquiry. If there are matters of evidential interest found they will not be disclosed.

The investigation team are still working through a large number of Toyota Hilux vehicles of a similar description and are still appealing for sightings of the same. If anyone has any information to offer in relation to a similarly described vehicle we would be most pleased to hear from them.

With regard to the vehicle found abandoned at the Ohau River, the Police can confirm that it was stolen in the Horowhenua District on the 26th of August 2005 and has been missing since that time. Police are aware of who may have stolen it and will obviously need to speak to this person. However, this person's details will not be released to the media for reasons of legal integrity. To date this person has not been spoken to.

The area canvass continues in the location where the vehicle was found abandoned. The Police are appealing to the public of Horowhenua for sightings of a similarly described Toyota Hilux two door, mid to late 80's, four wheel drive motor vehicle on or about Monday 26 September 2005. If anyone has seen a similar vehicle in the area at the time, please contact the enquiry team.

The scene search where the vehicle was found abandoned continues and should be completed today. If there are items of evidential value found this will not be disclosed.

Police are still looking for Birgit's personal belongings including her back packs.

The public and the media have been most helpful in this investigation to date.


Anyone with any information please contact New Plymouth Police on 7595500 or phone: 0800 CRIMESTOP (0800 274637)

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