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Mutilated Body Found On Wellington's South Coast

Man's Mutilated Body Found On Wellington's South Coast
New Zealand Police National News Release
1:06pm 9 July 2006

Police have launched a homicide inquiry after a man's mutilated body was found floating on the shoreline near the Owhiro Bay Quarry carpark on Wellington's south coast this morning.

The victim was partially clad and his hands were severed at the wrist.

Detective Inspector Harry Quinn, Wellington District crime manager, said the man, a European believed to be aged over 60 years, had suffered horrific injuries to his neck and his arms. Police believe an attempt had been made to sever the man's head.

"We don't know who is or how he came to be in the water," Detective Inspector Quinn said. "His death was both brutal and macabre and he must have bled profusely at the crime scene."

The gruesome discovery of the body was made about 8.30am today by an Owhiro Bay man walking along the coastal track from Owhiro Bay Parade towards Red Rocks. He noticed a man floating in the waterline about 500m from the Owhiro Quarry carpark and went to investigate.

Seeing the injuries, the man immediately called police. More than 40 officers including detectives, the Wellington Police Maritime Unit, Police National Dive Squad, Wellington Police Search and Rescue and the Specialist Search Group are now working on the homicide inquiry.

The body has now been removed to Wellington Hospital's mortuary for a post mortem later this afternoon. Meanwhile the popular walking track has been closed off to allow a thorough crime scene examination, with officers searching the ground and the water for items, including the man's missing hands.

Detective Inspector Quinn says there is no immediately visible means of identification on the victim. Police want to urgently hear from people who may know who he is.

The victim is described as a male European, aged more than 60 years, with grey heavily receding hair, moderately built, and 175 - 180cm tall (5ft 9 to 6ft). When found he was wearing dark trousers and black leather shoes.

"We're keeping an open mind as to how the victim got to Owhiro Bay. He could have been dumped at the water's edge from a vehicle or floated in on the tide," Detective Quinn said.

Police want to hear about any suspicious activity of landbased vehicles in the area since dusk last night. They're also keen to know about suspicious activity at wharves, jetties and boat ramps around the greater Wellington coastline - anywhere from Ngawi on the Wairarapa coast to Levin.

"One of our first priorities is trying to find out the victim's identity. If a man fitting the victim's description sounds like a family member or friend, then please contact us.

"This is a dreadful crime. There would have been a lot of blood at the crime scene, and in a vehicle or boat if either of these were used to transport him to the water.

"We also want to find the man's hands, any other items of clothing or evidence that will help us find how and why the man died, and who was responsible."


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