Victim's dad tells of messy break-up

MATT STEWART
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2013

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The father of a Havelock North woman found dead on Friday says her estranged partner and only suspect in the homicide inquiry had been '' a funny person to live with.''

David Bower's only daughter Gail Bower, 48, was found alone in her Campbell Street, Havelock North home at 10pm.

Her ex-partner, also 48, was taken in to police custody, but has not yet been interviewed because he underwent surgery at Hawke's Bay Hospital yesterday for suspected cuts to his his throat and wrist injuries.

The man was later transferred to Hutt Hospital under police guard and will be interviewed when he is in a better state.

''We can't interview him until he's healthy enough. It's fluid at this stage,'' Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster said.

Mr Foster said the man was in a stable condition and may undergo further surgery today.

An ESR forensics team have been examining the scene and, although police have not located any witnesses, Mr Foster said family and friends of the dead woman were being spoken to and investigators were still ''going through a myriad of information.''

Police were not prepared to release the injured man's name yet because it might prejudice future court proceedings but were not seeking anyone else in relation to the homicide inquiry.

Mr Foster said relations between the couple had become tense after they became estranged about four months ago.

Mr Bower said his daughter, who had worked at a Havelock North branch of the ANZ bank, would visit once a week with money for groceries and the two would often talk about the estranged couple's messy break-up after 20 years together.

''It's for the police to work out but there was a wee bit of friction. I didn't want to get involved but she would tell me things. For a long time I realised there was something not quite right,'' Mr Bower said.

The death of Ms Bower was especially hard on the former couple's two sons, one in his late teens and the other in his early 20s.

''You just don't know what to say. You can't get a book out of the library,'' Mr Bower said.

Police will release Ms Bower's body after a post mortem examination in Palmerston North today. 

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