Man arrested for Kate Alkema homicide
National News Release, 23:48, 23 April 2002
A 21-year-old man was late tonight arrested and charged with the murder of Lower Hutt woman Kate Alkema.
He will appear in the Lower Hutt District Court tomorrow (Wednesday, 24 April).
Ms Alkema’s body was found on the riverbank beside the Hutt River near Pharazyn Street, Melling, about 4.15pm Saturday week ago.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam, head of Operation Melling, said while the arrest was a relief in some ways for Ms Alkema’s family it did little to alleviate their pain.
Mr Oxnam thanked the public and media for their overwhelming support and response to appeals for information. "Public assistance combined with a dedicated police team has led to this arrest.
"Lower Hutt has been in the spotlight since Kate’s death and the kidnapping of Kahu Durie. It’s great for police morale and will also be a huge relief to the public that we’ve results for both cases in the same week."
More than 100 staff have been involved in the inquiry which has at times been boosted by an additional 80 recruits from the Royal New Zealand Police College who assisted with area inquiries, searches and guarding scenes.
Mr Oxnam said the arrest doesn’t signal an end to inquiry work as a range of background and forensic work needs to be completed.