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Balclutha Homicide Arrests

New Zealand Police Alert 15:00 18-01-2008 Southern

Location of incident: Balclutha

Incident Type: Balclutha Homicide

PRESS RELEASE NO 9 18 January 2008 1515 hours P

Police in Balclutha have arrested two persons for the murder of Kaitangata teenager Michael Hutchings. A 37 year old Kaitangata man and a 29 year old Kaitangata woman were arrested in Balclutha earlier today. Detective Inspector Ross Pinkham says the arrests are the culmination of a week of intensive investigation following the discovery of 18 year old Michael Hutchings' body in the Clutha River on Saturday 12th January.

Mr Hutchings was found wrapped in a white mattress cover sheet and tied to two heavy steel bars and dumped in the Clutha River near Stirling. Enquiries this past week have centred around Mr Hutchings associates and the movement of Mr Hutchings since early in the New Year.

The last sighting of him was on the night of Monday 7th January. The two persons arrested will appear in the Dunedin District Court on Saturday morning. Mr Pinkham says that the homicide investigation continues - with the examination of the house where Mr Hutchings lives yet to be completed. Positive lines of enquiry have been developed with regard to the origins of the steel bars and the black nylon cord.

The mother of Michael Hutchings arrived from Australia today and has been briefed by the Police on the circumstances of the death and the investigation completed by the Police to date. The community assistance has been tremendous in this investigation and information provided has enabled the homicide investigation team to clarify many issues raised during the week.

The team will continue with areas of the house examination, speaking with other witnesses and confirming other information relating to the steel bars and nylon cord.

Ross Pinkham Detective Inspector Op Hawk Dunedin

Foot Note: Many thanks to the many Media organisations that have been supportive in the whole of the investigation. The investigative team is appreciative of your assistance and for conveying the salient points to the public. Thanks - Ross Pinkham


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