Inventor's gadget may have killed him

TRAGIC DEATH: Michael Roiall.
TRAGIC DEATH: Michael Roiall.

Police have confirmed the death of a man found in South Auckland on Monday was accidental, and it is understood it was the result of home experiment which went wrong.

Michael William Roiall, 34, was found dead at his Papatoetoe home about 2.30pm.

It's understood the man was an amateur inventor and was found wearing a home-made helmet, which he was attempting to use to control devices in his home.

It's believed the helmet may have suffocated him.

An autopsy had been completed and police have since said the death was accidental.

A police spokeswoman refused to comment further on the circumstances surrounding the death which was now being referred to the coroner.

Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander said Roiall's body had been found by family, who spent the evening contacting relatives.

At this stage, he said, it was unclear whether Roiall lived alone or with those who found him.

Neighbours spoke about the presence of a container and trailer at the back of the property but Alexander confirmed Roiall's body was found inside the house.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the area was normally very quiet.

However, she said there had been an unusually high number of police officers patrolling the street in the past few weeks.

"It's all been a bit weird," she said.

When the police arrived yesterday afternoon she said she saw two men asked to move their cars from beside the property.

One man was allowed to go but she said another was taken away by police.

Auckland Now