Woman who fell from car boot had served jail time for drugs offending
The Thai woman who died after falling, bound and gagged, from a car in south Auckland had served jail time in New Zealand for drugs offences.
Jindarat Prutsiriporn, 50, was found after escaping from the boot of a car as it drove through suburban Papatoetoe in Auckland on Tuesday night. She was suffering head injuries and never regained consciousness.
In September 2011, she was sentenced to 18 months in jail for her role in a drugs importing conspiracy, Hawke's Bay Today reported at the time.
She pleaded guilty to conspiring to import the methamphetamine precursor pseudoephedrine, after more than 70g of meth and quantities of cannabis were found in a Napier house in November 2009. She and two others were arrested and subsequently convicted.
Police named Prutsiriporn on Thursday, and said her death was being investigated as a homicide.
They also said she had "a couple of sons" in Auckland, and had some involvement with organised crime in the city.
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said on Thursday afternoon that a team of 17 police officers were continuing to assess information being received from the public.
"She was kidnapped - the way to unravelling what happened is, why she was kidnapped, and who was involved."
Police said at least one of the serious head injuries Jindarat sustained was likely to have been inflicted before she fell from the car.
"We are still appealing for sightings of a late model silver vehicle in Papatoetoe and surrounding areas on the evening of 1 March 2016."
Lynch said police had received several conflicting reports of the travel route of the sedan, and were trying to work through these to determine which were relevant.
A Middlemore Hospital spokeswoman said Prutsiriporn died just after 11pm on Wednesday.
She was found with life-threatening head injuries after managing to "propel herself" from a vehicle while it was driving on Huia Rd in Papatoetoe about 7pm on Tuesday.
Witnesses said her arms, legs and neck were tied, her mouth was gagged and she was bleeding.
Huia Rd resident Rikki Howard said the incident happened right outside her house.
She arrived home at 7.15pm, just minutes after the woman escaped the car, and said she was terrified to later learn what had happened.
"I'm a bit dumbfounded that it happened right outside our driveway," she said.
Police want anyone who may have information to call the Counties Manukau Crime Squad on (09) 261 1321.