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Balclutha: Homicide Investigation

New Zealand Police Alert 16:00 14-01-2008 Southern

Location of incident: Balclutha

Incident Type: Homicide Investigation

Press Release No 5

14 January 2007 1600

Police in Balclutha are now in a position to release the name of the victim in the Balclutha Homicide.

The victim is Michael Anthony HUTCHINGS, 18 years, a resident of Kaitangata Detective Inspector Ross Pinkham says that HUTCHINGS body was located in the Clutha River on Saturday 13th January and an examination of the body when it was removed from the river show that it was attached to two steel bars - measuring 210cms x 16cms x 2.5cms each. The origin of the bars is not known. Police enquiries have been made in the Clutha area endeavouring to locate the origins.

Hutchings body had been wrapped in a white mattress cover and tied to the steel bars using a black nylon braided cord - approximately 8mm in diameter. The post mortem examination reveals that Hutchings was stabbed with a sharp instrument in the neck and also in the stomach. Whilst yet to be clarified by the pathologist it is most likely that these stab wounds - resulting in a loss of blood - were the cause of death.

It is not know how long that Hutchings body had been in the Clutha River. Mr Pinkham said the Police on the investigation, with the assistance of the forensic scientists from the ESR, have been examining the house in which Hutchings lived. Police continue with their enquiries with associates of the victim in an endeavour to ascertain Hutchings movements.

Family: The family wish the follow message passed to the Media. Michael was the eldest son of Lyn & Mark Hutchings and will be sadly missed by family and friends. Michael's sister Sarah stated Michael was a very protective big brother and always looked out for me. I just really want to know what happened to him. The family request privacy at this time. Ross Pinkham Detective Inspector Operation HAWK Balclutha 03 4180203 027 2428089

Issued By: Sergeant Dean Murray

ENDS


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