Funeral for musician found dead in garage

Last updated 08:07 23/01/2013
Javed Fraser Mills
JOHN SELKIRK/ Fairfax NZ

LOOKING FOR CLUES: Police search an address on Barrack Rd, where they believe Javed Fraser Mills was killed in 2009.

Javed Fraser Mills
VICTIM: Javed Fraser Mills.

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The family of a man whose headless skeleton was discovered in a Mt Wellington garage more than 16 months ago will finally lay him to rest this weekend.

The remains of Javed Mills, 22, found by contractors at a Barrack Rd house in September 2011, were recently released back to his family

According to a funeral notice today, Mills will be farewelled at Fountains Memorial Chapel in Papakura at 1pm Saturday.

"After a long time waiting Javed can now be laid to rest," it said.   

Alliance Demolition staff were searching for salvageable timber when they found fragments of clothing clung to bones, which were piled in a heap. The skull was missing.

It took police eight months to identify Mills.

Earlier this month Detective Sergeant Graham Shand refused to say whether Mills' skull had been found as someone was before the courts charged with his murder.

It was believed Mills died after an "altercation" in 2009.

In June last year, James Grant Cooper, 24, was charged with Mills' murder and perverting the course of justice by concealing the death between July 23, 2009 and June 5, 2012.

Cooper denied killing Mills in October, but pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

He has been remanded in custody until he goes on trial on July 23.

Mills said goodbye to his mother Lichelle in April 2009 so he could have space to "live his life".

She hugged her son goodbye and told him to "be careful".

She was never aware of the death and was "duped" into thinking he was alive as she received messages through social networking sites supposedly from him.

As Christmas 2009 approached, Mills' brother Tarek tried to make contact with him and through Bebo and a message came back.

Mills was in Wellington, it said. He wanted a "fresh start" and had met a group of like minded musicians.

Although it is not clear if Mills was alive when the messages were sent, they allayed his mother's fears.

Two years passed without a word and Lichelle waited for him to get in touch, honouring her sons' wishes for space.

But in May 2012, police visited the family to tell them a body found at a demolition site could be their son.

Lichelle said last year that the news made her "numb".

The family had seen media reports of the find, but had no reason to believe it was their "little man".

"You never believe it and even when it's confirmed it was like you don't want to know," Lichelle's partner, Peter Mair, said last year.

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