Parents' plea after Kapiti killing
As Kapiti teenager Izak Wikaira Millanta lay brain dead in a hospital bed, his father screamed out to police.
He gave them two names - the men he was told were responsible for bashing his 17-year-old son.
A day later Izak was declared dead and one of the men - Manawanui Stewart - was arrested and later charged with his manslaughter. The other man was questioned and allowed to walk free.
This week Izak's parents, Christine Wikaira and Stephen Millanta, told The Dominion Post they were "very confident" a man who killed their son was still walking the streets of Paraparaumu.
"What we're seeing now is a lesson in how to get away with murder," Ms Wikaira said. They believe the man's mother helped dispose of evidence, allowing Stewart to take the rap.
They appealed for anyone hiding information to have a conscience and speak to police. "I feel like screaming from the hilltops," Ms Wikaira said. "I want justice for my son and the only way that is going to happen is if two people are in the courtroom facing the charges, and I'm not going to give up until that happens."
Detective Inspector Mike Johnson said this week that the investigation into Izak's death - dubbed Operation Coast - remained active. "We will consider all evidence against any other person who may have been involved in Izak's death."
He declined to comment further while the case was before the courts.
Izak was found with no pulse and unresponsive in the car park of Coastlands shopping mall, Paraparaumu, in the early hours of August 11. He had few visible injuries other than a graze on his head.
His parents said they later discovered he had been assaulted and his liver split in two.
"It was just horrendous. He had a huge amount of injuries in a very short space of time," Ms Wikaira said.
On the night of the attack, Izak's older brother told him not to go to the Retro Bar because a group of people who did not like him were there. He ignored the warning. "From that moment on, it unfolded," his mother said. "They were all lurking about in the car park, I expect, and he's come across them."
Izak was seen being chased by two men down a dark alley near the Retro Bar. He was found about five minutes later.
Police spent about half an hour trying to revive him before paramedics continued the fight to save his life.
At Wellington Hospital Mr Millanta was told his son was effectively "brain dead" and was not going to survive.
"When I walked into the room all I saw was someone on top of him trying to revive him with heaps of people around, and I just freaked and started screaming out to the cops."
Ms Wikaira, who was on holiday in Thailand, rushed home to be with her son before he died. She did not make it in time.
Izak's parents were relieved when an arrest was made, but frustration grew when another man they believed was involved was never charged, Ms Wikaira said. "Where's the justice?"
They admit their son was no angel and had previously been in trouble with police. But they said he was honest and did not deserve to die.
Before his death, the former Wellington High School pupil was studying trade services at Whitireia.
"He wasn't squeaky clean. He got himself into bits of trouble here and there, but nothing violent, " Ms Wikaira said. "He's the sort of kid that would stand in front of a punch to stop that punch hitting his mate."
About five weeks after Izak's death, Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, was fatally stabbed in the same area at Kapiti Lights. Tristim Eastham has been charged with his murder.
Ms Wikaira urged youths in Kapiti to think about the effects of drinking and then turning to violence. They needed to remember their "whakapapa and stop killing their own. It [Izak's death] is grief that's so deep there isn't a word for it. The shift in our lives is so big that we're never going to be the same."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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