Man's body found in South Auckland

07:29, Aug 08 2014
Pap murder 1
Police launch a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in a car in Papatoetoe last night.
Pap murder 1
Police launch a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in a car in Papatoetoe last night.
Pap murder 1
Police launch a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in a car in Papatoetoe last night.
Pap murder 1
Police launch a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in a car in Papatoetoe last night.
Pap murder 1
Police launch a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in a car in Papatoetoe last night.

Police investigating the death of an Auckland man have retrieved CCTV footage from a nearby business, allowing them to narrow down timeframes of interest.

Davender Singh, 35, of Papatoetoe, and his partner stopped outside the Manukau Events Centre in their car at about 7.20pm last night.

Singh's body was found in a car outside the events centre, on Norman Spencer Drive in Papatoetoe about 7.45pm. It is believed he died from stab wounds, but the weapon is yet to be found, police say.

Davender Singh
MURDER SCENE: CCTV footage from a nearby business shows Davender Singh's car (top right) at 8.23pm last night, less than an hour after he was killed.

His partner witnessed events leading up to the killing and was hospitalised overnight.

Police continue their search for a weapon, and a man of interest, who may have blood on his clothing, while also urging people who may have been in the area at the time of the murder to come forward. 

When Singh was murdered a large number of vehicles, including busses, passed the scene, police said.


Detective Inspector Lynch said motorists may remember Singh's silver Honda motor vehicle that had its indicator flashing.

"Police are particularly interested in further information on another vehicle that was parked behind Mr Singh's which left the scene prior to police arrival.

"We ask that anyone who drove down Norman Spencer Drive between 7.20pm and 7.45pm on Thursday night and might have seen Mr Singh's car parked outside the Manukau Events Centre please come forward to police," Lynch said.

A personal belonging of Singh's, which police will not identify, was found in Kenderdine Road, Papatotoe.

Police are still searching for a sharp object that is believed to be used in the murder.

Singh's body was undergoing a post-mortem examination today, while his partner, who witnessed the events leading to his death, was interviewed by police. 

She was admitted to hospital last night "more as a result of her condition" rather than any injuries she received, Lynch said.

Police today said that based on what Singh's partner had been able to tell them last night, they were seeking a third person in relation to the death. Police have no description other than that the person is a male.

"Due to the nature of Mr Singh's injuries, police believe that this male would have had blood on his clothing," Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said.

At a press conference this morning Lynch says Singh and his 31-year-old partner were on their way home from work and had stopped to eat a takeaway meal when the incident occurred.

Detectives are not yet sure what motivated the attack.

"Mr Singh's got a lot of wounds so there's definitely an indication of a violent struggle that's occurred in and around the vehicle," Lynch said.

"It's immediately obvious from his injuries that the cause of death is very much likely to be the result of stab wounds from a sharp instrument."

Police were appealing to the public for sightings of any one who arrived home last night and aroused suspicion by washing clothing or putting clothing in the rubbish, or who had blood on them or their clothing. They were also wanting information on any discarded bloodied clothing or sharp objects.

A team of 20 detectives were working on the case and officers were combing rubbish bins and nearby streets in search of the weapon or bloodstained clothing.


Locals should not fear further attacks, Lynch said.

"This is an isolated event and things like this very rarely happen again so I don't think there's any reason for anybody to be unduly concerned."

But neighbours living just a few houses down said they were concerned for the safety of their young children.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said the case bore chilling similarities to another just a few years back, when a man was murdered at his home on Leith Ct less than 100 metres away.

"It was the same. His body was found in his car as well. He'd been there for two or three days and no one noticed," she said.

Another neighbour says she returned home last night around the same time the police arrived.

"I had only been gone for 15 minutes. When I left there was nothing, it was so quiet," she said.

"When I got back there were police cars everywhere - so many police cars and an ambulance."

A block of businesses have been blocked off by the police cordon and owners are waiting anxiously for information.

Among the buildings unable to be accessed are a trophy shop, lawyer's office and mower repair shop.

Yogesh Singh, the director of nearby Rugs R Us, says he was blown away to arrive at work and hear the news.

"It definitely concerns us." 


Bus depot Waka Pacific has been cordoned off as part of the crime scene.

Staff member Navdeep Dhillon said the body had been found on the street in front of the depot but staff had been able to come and go freely this morning.

Police had searched their premises earlier today looking for a weapon but Dhillon said they didn't elaborate on what kind.

He said the area was normally very quiet and safe at night time and the street was mostly made up of commercial buildings.

Counties Manukau Police can be contacted on 09 261 1300.