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Balclutha Homicide Investigation Release 6

New Zealand Police Alert 16:00 15-01-2008 Southern

Location of incident: Balclutha

Incident Type: Homicide Investigation


15 January 2008 1600

Police investigating the death of Michael Anthony HUTCHINGS, 18 years of Kaitangata continue with a scientific examination of his residence.

Detective Inspector Ross Pinkham says that ESR Forensic Scientists have been assisting the homicide investigation team in the examination and have ascertained that traces of blood have been found inside the house.

It is possible that this may have been a place where he sustained the wounds that lead to his death. The examination is likely to take a few more days as a detailed examination is made of the house and the surrounds. Mr Pinkham says that a vehicle at the address has been secured for examination.

Michael Hutchings' body was discovered on Saturday 12th January on the edge of the Clutha River, near Stirling - 7 kms from Balclutha. The body was wrapped in a mattress cover and tied to two steel bars. The weight of the bars and the significant holes drilled in the bars suggest that the bars have probably been made to specifications.

Although the homicide investigative team has received a number of calls from members of the public with suggestions as to where these steel bars have come from enquiries are continuing to ascertain the origins of the steel bars.

Police are unable to confirm how long Mr Hutchings body had been in the river. Mr Pinkham says Police are seeking information from users of the river area relating to suspicious activity or sightings of vehicles which may have given cause for suspicion. The period from 1 January through until the Saturday 12th January is of significance to the investigation.

Michael Hutchings parents are intending to travel to New Zealand - no dates have been confirmed.


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