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Hunt Continues to ID Murder Victim

Hunt Continues to ID Murder Victim
New Zealand Police National News Release
10:42am 10 July 2006
http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release.html?id=2515

Finding the Owhiro Bay murder victim's hands, and any other evidence that will help identify him or his killers are immediate priorities for the Operation Red Rocks homicide team in Wellington today.

Detective Inspector Harry Quinn, Wellington District Crime Manager, says he also wants to finish the forensic and crime scene examination in the bay before there's a change in the weather.

"This is a brutal and macabre murder," he says. "We believe the victim's body was taken to Owhiro Bay, more than likely in a vehicle, and dumped in the sea. Somewhere in the city is a murder scene. Somewhere in the city someone has cleaned up a very bloody murder scene.

"Learning the victim's name will give us a better chance of tracing his movements, and finding out who last saw him alive."

Police are urging people to call the 0508 Red Rocks hotline - 0508 733 762 hotline - if they have any information at all which might identify the victim, or people or vehicles in the Happy Valley, Owhiro Bay to Red Rocks area from dusk on Saturday through to 8.15am yesterday when the body was found at the water's edge.

Officers are busy sifting through information from more than ten calls left taken on the hotline number overnight.

"The hotline is being manned and we're following up on every call. Our victim must be someone's family member, friend or neighbour. We need to know who he is."

The victim was a male European, aged more than 60 years, of slight to medium frame, 84 kilos, 179cm tall, clean shaven with grey wispy hair and a bald to heavily receding hairline. He had no distinguishing identification marks on his body.

He was wearing black trousers with a light stripe in them, a black belt with a plastic Dunhill badge set into the buckle, black slip on shoes and black socks.

Detectives and specialist searchers including police divers, the maritime unit and search dogs are today combing the Owhiro Bay coastline, looking for the man's severed hands, other clothing such as a shirt or top, and also the weapons that were used to kill him.

Post mortem results indicate that the man received a severe beating to his head, and that a sharp cutting tool such as a large knife, machete or small sword was used to inflict the horrendous neck injuries and to cut off both his hands at the wrists.

Police officers will continue visiting homes and baches in the Owhiro Bay area today to see if residents can help with the inquiry.

"The coastal track from Owhiro Bay to Red Rocks is very popular with walkers, joggers, fishers, people in four wheel drives and other vehicles," Detective Inspector Quinn says. "We need to speak with everyone who was in the area from late Saturday through until yesterday morning to see if they saw or heard any suspicious activity.

"We're also asking people that if they find items that may be of interest to us, or if they know the victim's identity or that of his killers, to please call police straightaway. Ring the hotline number or Wellington Central Police on 04 381 2000 and ask to speak to the inquiry team.

"We need information from the public to help solve this dreadful crime."


ENDS

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