Police seek help over unexplained death
Stratford unexplained death — Police seek help from the public
Stratford Police are seeking help from the public in piecing together the last movements of a man whose body was found in the Patea River on Tuesday, 10 September.
Police have informed the man's next of kin and can now confirm his identity. He is Stephen John Murphy, aged 36, from Stratford.
His body was found by his friends who had been searching for him after he was last seen nine days ago.
Mr Murphy was last seen by his sister in the vicinity of Brecon Road (near where he was found) at 3:30pm on Sunday, 1 September. Prior to being seen by his sister he had been at a friend's house. He was wearing black pants with a black sweatshirt, was barefooted, and had his dog with him. His dog was found wandering later that evening at around 5:30pm by Dog Control.
Officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Inspector Marc Hercock says: "A key focus for the investigation team today is speaking to Mr Murphy's family and friends, and also people in the area that may have seen him in the past nine days.
"Mr Murphy regularly walked his dog along the riverbank not far from where his body was found.
"It is crucial that we piece together his movements and we encourage anyone with information to contact Police.
"A post-mortem will take place today and this should hopefully provide Police and his family with some further answers."