Sisters of girl in Palmerston North abduction 'screamed street down' for help video


Inspector Sarah Stewart holds a press conference in Palmerston North, asking for the public's help to find a man suspected of abduction.

Two sisters who witnessed the alleged abduction of their younger sister said they were screaming as loud as they could for help and feared she wouldn't come back.

Rehia Skipper, 8 and Finesse Te Kira-Skipper, 7 were walking to their Palmerston North school with 5-year-old Shekinah Relies-Skipper when she was pulled into a white vehicle. 

Rehia said when the car pulled over a man got out and grabbed Shekinah. 

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was pulled into a car in Burns Ave, Palmerston North, on Friday morning.

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was pulled into a car in Burns Ave, Palmerston North, on Friday morning.

"We have seen him before... at the park.

"He just walked around me and grabbed her and chucked her in the car.

"We were screaming the whole street down at Shamrock, we were screaming 'help, help' as loud as we could."

Bill Gilliland returns to his home on Hind Pl, the street where he found Shekinah Relies-Skipper, who was dumped on the street by a man who snatched her in Palmerston North this morning.

Finesse said they saw Shekinah bang her head on the gear-stick when the man threw her in. They tried to fight back but said the whole thing happened so fast.

"We were trying to kick him to get him to go."

When she saw the car driving off Rehia said she felt helpless.

"I thought she wouldn't come back. We were crying... crying our eyes out."

A sole police officer is going door to door speaking to residents at Hind Place, where Shekinah was later found.

A sole police officer is going door to door speaking to residents at Hind Place, where Shekinah was later found.

Finesse said she no longer felt safe.

Ad Feedback

"I don't feel safe when I walk to school now, I probably will think it's him in the car."

Coming from a family of seven sisters and five brothers there would be a lot of hugs waiting for Shekinah when she arrived home.

"I'm going to hug her for a long, long, long time," Finesse said.

Rehia described the man as having green eyes. A cousin at the house, Elexis Ratu, said the girls had told her he was wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees and a dress top with stripes. They also said he had grey hair with black stripes in it and facial hair. 

Police at the scene on Shamrock Street, where Shekinah was taken.

Police at the scene on Shamrock Street, where Shekinah was taken.

Ratu, said she knew something was wrong when the girls came running back to the house. 

"They don't come back running like that from school, they were just yelling out."

She said as soon as they found out what happened they were in shock.

"Our hearts were racing... and emotions running high."

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was found in Hind Place at about 11am.

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was found in Hind Place at about 11am.

While the police were looking for Shekinah, Ratu said she felt helpless.

"Literally helpless, because we weren't doing anything. We wanted to just go out there and look for her."

When they discovered she had been found, Ratu said they felt relief. 

Takaro School principal Helena Baker said they were relieved the young student had been found safe and well.
Murray Wilson

Takaro School principal Helena Baker said they were relieved the young student had been found safe and well.

"That was the main thing, that we had our child back."

However, even though she felt that relief, she also felt anger.

"I just feel really angry that the guy has gone and done that to us. But there is a relief [she] is found and a big [weight] off our shoulders.

"She's still with us now."

Police mark scene at Shamrock St, Takaro.
Murray Wilson

Police mark scene at Shamrock St, Takaro.


Police are still looking for the person who snatched Shekinah. 

Police Manawatu Area Commander Sarah Stewart said more than 30 officers had been working on the case since the 5-year-old was taken from Shamrock St in the suburb of Takaro at about 8.30am.

"We're doing a wide-ranging investigation," Stewart said.

There had been some focus on the Horowhenua town of Shannon, however they had diverted their focus back to Shamrock Street and Hind Pl, where the girl was dropped off after being found about 11am. 

Police did not have any further information about the man, but have appealed for help from the public saying they were "the absolute key" to finding both him and the white sedan involved.

"We ask that you call us as soon as you can, even if you don't think it's important. Let us know, let us decide that.

"It would be really unusual for a 5-year-old child to be dropped off on the side of the road, by themselves. Someone must have seen Shekinah being dropped off."

Stewart said the family had been "incredible" and were continuing to help police with the investigation. 

"You can imagine this incredibly traumatic and upsetting thing for everyone involved."


When Bill Gilliland, 91, found Shekinah he initially thought she was just lost.

"I had just turned into Hind Place and I could see she was really upset and didn't know a thing where she was and I sort of took over from there," he told the New Zealand Herald.

Gilliland drove around the neighbourhood, hoping she would recognise a familiar house, in case she was staying locally.

When she couldn't, he went to neighbour Mary Leask's house, who then called the police.

He told The Herald he was happy to have been able to help. "I just did something that you've got to do."

Hind Pl resident Mary Leask said Shekinah was "a bit shaken" at first but she "settled down good".

"She's a cheeky little thing, she's lovely."

Takaro School principal Helena Baker said they were relieved the young pupil had been found safe and well.

Baker said the school remained open the entire time. "Our main concern is always for our tamariki."

Students have been sent home with a newsletter informing parents and caregivers of what's happened. Parents outside the school could be heard saying it was "scary" and "terrible".


Earlier, a Shamrock St resident, who did not wish to be named, said her son had heard the young girls screaming and ran outside to see what the commotion was about. 

"He shot out and saw the car going north and the girls were banging on the back window trying to get her out." 

She said the three young girls were sisters walked by her house on a regular basis.

"They're very chatty children."

Her son was shaken by the incident and she said they looked after the other two children while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

"He brought them in here because they were so upset."

The incident was one she thought would scar them.

"They will never get over it, they will carry that."


Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith said he knew the Skipper family, although not Shekinah's immediate family, and was shocked when his wife called him to share the news.

He said he would contact the family, a large family in the Manawatu, and "make sure that things are ok".

He said the apparent abduction was not part of an overall crime problem in the city and was an isolated incident.

"Definitely not. I'm just pleased the young girl's safe and reunited with her family. And police are trying to sort out what happened."

The incident would have been harrowing for those involved, he said, "but at least the outcome is positive".

Catherine Jeffries, who lives on Shamrock St was lying in bed when she heard a commotion outside.

"I heard an awful loud siren going up the street chasing a car."

In Hind Place, one neighbour said she saw police on the street for about an hour. She said officers had been talking to residents in two properties in the street, a quiet cul-de-sac in Hokowhitu.

There are a number of elderly residents who live in the street.

A neighbour said she saw two residents, an elderly couple, leaving with what looked like a police officer around midday.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Horse rescued from crashed float

The "horrible" crash occurred on the southern motorway near Pukukohe.

Jaws of life were used to free a trapped horse after "horrible" accident south of Auckland.

Along came a little lump

Dylan Bowman, 21, wants to try motivational speaking, to share his story and his outlook on life.

It all started with a few clumsy stumbles in the kitchen. Now, chef Dylan Bowman has a "nasty tumour".

Truckie thrown from vehicle

Westpac Rescue Helicopter is airlifting the truckie to hospital.

Man seriously injured after crash near Wellsford in Northland shuts section of SH1.

$500k crashed super car driver charged

The rare and exclusive McLaren super car line is named after New Zealand motorsport legend Bruce McLaren.

His rare and exclusive super car flipped on an Auckland motorway.


Gunner Billy's high-seas adventure

Cigarette-card portrait of World War I hero William 'Gunner Billy' Sanders.

The VC winner lived and died in a boy's own dream.

NZ seeks military craft

The Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes will replace a fleet of retiring P-3K planes.

Four airplanes from US would replace a retiring fleet of P-3K maritime patrols.

Woman hit by car dies

Churchill Dr, Crofton Downs, was closed for a while after the collision on Saturday morning.

Fatality in Gisborne while nasty crash in Wellington closes road temporarily.

Perils of duck hunting

Forty-one per cent of injuries associated with game-bird hunting occur during the opening weekend of duck hunting season.

Almost half of game bird hunting injuries happen during the opening weekend of the season.


Theatrical climate change march

The People's Climate Parade march towards the Avon River.

Key messages were expressed on stage in a "family-friendly" protest.

Small town Chinese garden scandal

The West Coast town of Kumara has a population of about 300.

Westland council allows tiny town's "nest egg" to be used for a garden many don't want.

Used office furniture glut hits Chch

Faced with four floors of surplus furniture to dispose of, Canterbury District Health Board services manager Pauline ...

Christchurch is the place for a bargain as tenants in new office buildings get rid of cast offs.

Deadly love triangle

Those on the outside described the McLeans as a "role model family".

Invercargill rocked to core after a love triangle turned fatal. Where did it all go wrong?


Architectural wonders revealed

The new law and management building at Waikato University was designed by Opus Architecture.

A lot of well known Waikato and Bay of Plenty buildings - and spaces - have earned accolades.

It's our turn to fix this

A medical school backed by Waikato Hospital, pictured, and Waikato University  seeks to train GPs to fill a critical ...

OPINION: The old boys have failed to fix New Zealand's doctor shortage, now it's our turn.

Join the fight for our med school

Waikato University vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray.

A proposed medical school in the Waikato has the Government interested.

Ref raids accounts

050711 NEWS. Robert Charles/Taranaki Daily News. Cheque/ cheque book. Money. Bank.

Colleagues blew the whistle on referee who swiped $13K and a video camera.


Faith in the future

Taranaki Cathedral of St Mary's, Bishop Philip Richardson, centre, blesses Dean of St Mary's Very Reverend Peter Beck as ...

New Zealand's oldest church is being strengthened and it's about more than bricks and mortar.

Mystery is solved 

An unusual search and rescue mission was launched on Mt Taranaki, after a backpack was left behind at Holly Hut.

Backpack sparked search and rescue mission after being left behind in mountain hut.

Campbell Lane opens

South Taranaki District mayor Ross Dunlop officiated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

New development in Hawera gets the thumbs-up from residents.

To Hollywood by motorbike

Todd Holland's work appears on motorbikes in Hollywood movie Ghost in the Shell.

A small-town car painting shop has made it big, with its work featuring in Ghost in the Shell.


Tourism tips in the 1920s

Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles' wedding day.

Memory Lane: How to attract more tourists? The Standard had the answer 95 years ago.

13 reasons to watch

"13 Reasons Why" Star Gets A Tweet From Her Idol Lady Gaga!

Come on kids, time to watch controversial show dealing with suicide.

New act counters cyberbullying

The Harmful Digitial Communications Act was passed in July 2015.

Act helps as more than 20 people prosecuted for posting harmful content online.

NZDF civilians take strike action

Civilian employees of NZDF are on strike about pay.

Union accuses Defence Force of intimidation.


Not a house, it's a croquet shelter

Athol Turner has a few home comforts at the Hinemoa Croquet Club shelter, including coffee and a biography of Alec Guiness.

As the Nelson City Council looks to implement a new law banning sleeping in the city we meet a man who has made a croquet club his home.

Housing crisis help?

David Barnes, right, with his son Samuel Barnes who needs medical care, pictured with the dwelling David built for him ...

A Nelson man built a home on his property for his mentally-ill son. Could this solve our housing issues?

Guilty of murder

Philip Quayle died after being attacked on a street in Cairns, Australia, about 100 metres from home.

A man who choked a Nelson man to death during a random street attack in Cairns has been found guilty of murder.

Taking a leaf out of the future video

Nelson Mail Journalist Tim O'Connell with the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle(EV) that the Nelson Mail has had on loan from ...

Tim O'Connell shares the thrills, trials and tribulations of driving an electric vehicle.


Ophthalmology waiting list halved

The ophthalmology service at Nelson Marlborough Health has been remodelled which has cut the waiting list for those ...

The health board has remodelled its ophthalmology service and cut the waiting list for those needing follow-up.

Pokies accused 'collateral damage'

The Department of Internal Affairs said Mike O'Brien was "unsuitable" to be involved in the pokie gambling business.

Inquiry into who was behind pokie machine operations was flawed, says lawyer.

Old dog with new tricks

Vincent the retired guide dog plays Sandy in the new production of Annie.

A retired guide dog is treading the boards as the furry star of Marlborough's newest musical.

It's the climb

Blenheim cyclist Andrew Bidwell, 16, is aiming for a podium finish at the upcoming Age Group Road National Championships ...

When another cyclist said he was going to make Andrew's race hell, he laughed it off and smashed the pack by five minutes.

South Canterbury

Parents remember 'talented' son

Rowan Yeager died following a crash near Lake Ohau on Anzac Day. This photo, supplied by friend Andrew Weatherall, shows ...

Man killed in crash near Lake Ohau was just a week off moving into house he built by hand.

Cleverley 'exonerated'

Former South Canterbury District Health Board chair Murray Cleverley has spoken out for the first time about his ...

Former SCDHB chair Murray Cleverley says decision to resign as chair was tough.

'We have got a lot of work to do'

SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor says the DHB is going try and improve low rates of HPV vaccination by providing more ...

SC has a 'poor' HPV vaccination rate, prompting the DHB to turn to social media.

Strong winds lash SC

Police were called to the scene of a camper van crash on Friday afternoon, thought to be caused by the wind.

Tourists escape with minor injuries after two campers blown off road south of Tekapo.


'They thought it was a dolphin' video

The French tourist arrives at Dunedin Hospital by helicopter after she was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in ...

A French tourist who survived a shark attack wrenched its jaws from her legs, a local surfer says.

Deadly love triangle

Those on the outside described the McLeans as a "role model family".

A city's been rocked after a broken marriage ended in death. Where'd it all go wrong?

Ocean swimming 'sharks' territory'

Lydia Ward holds her wetsuit with tooth holes and the boogie board she used to fend off a 1.5m shark that bit her on the ...

A former shark attack victim has urged a tourist bitten by a shark to stay true to her passions - including ocean swimming.

Rugby's presidential change

Outgoing Rugby Southland president Donald Hay.

One Eastern Southland rugby stalwart goes, another one replaces him.

Ad Feedback