Police find dead burning victim's car

KELSEY FLETCHER AND KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 12:03 03/02/2013
KRISSY DWYER/Fairfax NZ

The burning body of a 21-year-old man found in South Auckland on Thursday is being treated as a homicide.

Shalvin Prasad
HOMICIDE: Shalvin Prasad.
Shalvin Prasad
SEARCHING: Police want to locate a vehicle, similar to this 1994 Toyota RAV4. The vehicle is mostly blue but has a faded black colour around the base

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A car owned by an Auckland man who was burned alive has been found by police this morning around 10 kilometres from the crime scene.

The body of Shalvin Prasad, 21, was found still ablaze on the side of McRobbie Rd in Kingseat on Thursday morning.

Prasad would have turned 22 today.

His vehicle was missing and police appealed for sightings of it.

In a statement this morning police said the Toyota RAV 4 had been found in the industrial Plunkett Ave area of nearby Papatoetoe.

The vehicle was at an industrial premises and was noticed by a member of the public.

Police said they had secured the vehicle, which will be examined by forensics.

They also appealed to any business owners in the area that have CCTV cameras covering Plunkett Ave.

Counties Manukau Detective Inspector Dave Lynch earlier said Prasad's disappearance was out of character and there were no reasons why he would go missing or take his own life.

He had been planning to play pool the night of his death.

"Based upon what we now know about Shalvin coupled with the fact his vehicle and some personal possessions are still missing it is believed that another person or persons are involved in his disappearance and death," he said.

His brother, Pravin Prasad said Shalvin was the youngest and was "full of life".

"He is full of life, family and friends are the centre of his world," he said.

"He loves to play soccer and enjoyed his job. he is probably the most innocent 21-year-old you could meet."

Prasad asked that anyone who had seen Shalvin or spoken with him in the 48 hours before he went missing to contact police.

Police are also interested in two other cars, both seen speeding from McRobbie Rd just before 6.30am on Thursday.

Both vehicles carried on straight through the intersection into Kingseat Rd travelling in the Pukekohe direction. One vehicle was described as blue/silver in colour and the other was white.

"Police are urging the drivers of these vehicles to come forward to be eliminated from the investigation.

"This is a remote location and both drivers will be well aware that their vehicles will be of interest to the investigation."

He warned that "the longer they wait to come forward will increase the level of interest police have in them and we urge them to contact us as soon as possible".

Police are yet to establish what kind of accelerant was used to light the fire.

Prasad's funeral will be held tomorrow in Manukau.

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