New Zealand Police National News Release
5:46pm 17 January 2008
17 January 2008
Police investigating the suspicious death of a British woman, on a working holiday in Taupo, are appealing for further information from the public.
The 26-year-old woman was found lying critically injured at the intersection of Waikato St and Motutahae St by Police officers called to check a report of damage at a nearby college.
The head of Operation Waikato, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner, said officers at the scene described the attack on the woman as ghastly.
"Our victim has been found lying prone severely injured with serious head injuries. An ambulance was called and she was taken to Taupo Hospital but died a short time later.
"The officers had originally gone to the area around 2.10am to investigate a report from a security company of damage to the school and it was while doing an area canvas that the woman was found," he said.
Police are unable to release the name of the dead woman as her family in the United Kingdom had yet to be notified.
She arrived in New Zealand in October 2006 on a 3 month visitors permit before returning home in January last year.
The woman returned here last October on a work permit and was employed at Wairakei.
Mr Turner said Police had established the woman had been out socialising in bars in central Taupo the night of the attack.
"We're currently trying to establish if she left the bar alone or not and a major part of our enquiry is obtaining security footage from the CBD and further a field."
"As a matter of course we are also checking records of incidents in the area to see if this incident may be related to any others."
Police are appealing for residents in the area where the woman was found to search their property for any unusual items such as clothing or possible weapons that may have been dumped.
"We'd also like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious or may have had problems with prowlers or intruders."
Mr Turner appealed for those responsible for the damage to the school to come forward saying the Police's priority was solving the homicide.
"To those people I would say come forward, we can then eliminate you from our enquiries, the longer you remain at large the worse it looks for you."
Police have been pleased with the level of support shown to the enquiry team so far but were still after information.
Anyone with any information on the woman's death is asked to contact Taupo Police on 07 378 6060.