Police chase six over man's death

ROB KIDD
Last updated 05:00 31/10/2012
DEATH SCENE: A tent covers a man's body found on Hillside Rd in Mt Wellington.
SIMON DAY/Fairfax NZ

DEATH SCENE: A tent covered Tupe's body after it was found on Hillside Rd in Mt Wellington.

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Police say they are now looking for up to six people in connection with the death of a South Auckland man four weeks ago.

Mangere man Tamati Tupe, 23, was discovered on Hillside Rd, Mt Wellington, on September 30 after police were called by a man from a nearby phone box.

A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with assault days later and police said at that time they were seeking three others over the death.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said that number had now doubled.

He believed there were six people with knowledge of what happened that night but said they may not all be charged.

The investigation was "fairly well advanced" and Lynch indicated there was one particular arrest that appeared to be the key to the case.

From the outset, police have looked for a motive for the homicide but Lynch said there did not appear to be one.

"[There was] no established link between the victim and the persons of interest," he said.

An autopsy was completed shortly after Tupe was found, but police would not discuss the cause of death because it was not straightforward.

"It's a potentially complex issue at trial," Lynch said. "It's not like it was a bullet in the head or a knife through the heart."

The 17-year-old accused of assaulting Tupe appeared in Manukau District Court again yesterday and is expected to face more serious charges.

He has interim name suppression until a High Court hearing next month

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