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Homicide team forensically exam vehicle

Homicide team forensically exam vehicle

A vehicle that police believe was involved in the murder of George Taiaroa has been seized and is currently subject to a forensic examination.

George was fatally shot as he operated a stop-go sign on Tram Road, Atiamuri on Tuesday, 19 March. Since that time a team of more than 30 officers have been investigating the death and working to establish a motive.

Detective Inspector Tim Anderson said: "We are making good progress in the investigation and that is in no small part due to the significant support we have received from the New Zealand community. The investigation team have covered a lot of ground and that has included the preparation and execution of a number of search warrants in both the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki since George was killed.

"I will not be drawn on the specifics of those warrants and whether or not any of those remain pertinent to the ongoing inquiry. What I am able to say is that we have recently seized a vehicle that we believe was involved on the day of the murder and we also believe we are closer to the motive behind the cold-blooded murder."

Police can confirm that the vehicle was located in the Bay of Plenty District. However Police will not disclose when that vehicle was found, the circumstances in which it was located, or the nature of forensic tests that have been carried out on the vehicle. The vehicle remains subject to ongoing examination.

To date no-one has been arrested in relation to George's death but Police have now narrowed down the list of potential suspects.

"We do have a main suspect in relation to this investigation and we are also working on the possibility that he is being protected or actively assisted by others," said Detective Inspector Anderson. "For investigative reasons I will not be making any comment on individuals of interest to this investigation.

"Just because we have reached a turning point in the investigation, that doesn't mean we don't still need information from the public. They have been crucial in getting us this far and their assistance remains and they can still make a significant difference. We remain particularly interested in the movements of a late 90s, dark blue Jeep Cherokee on the day of the murder and the days that followed. We also remain particularly interested in sightings of this vehicle in and around south Taranaki, Taumarunui, Benneydale and Rotorua."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the investigation team directly on 0800 Kingswood (0800 546 479). Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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