Murder charge after body found in Chch flat

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 12/07/2012
Daniel Tobin

Police investigate after a woman's body was found in Christchurch's Travis Rd today.

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A Kaiapoi man has been charged with murder after a woman's body was discovered in a Christchurch house.

Emergency services found the body about 10.15am yesterday after being called to a front-section flat in quake-hit Burwood.

The 29-year-old man was last night charged with murder and will appear in Christchurch District Court today.

The victim's name had not been released because relatives were still being notified. An autopsy will be conducted today.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Hill, of Christchurch police, said the early arrest was the result of "good investigative work".

"We are continuing to talk to people associated with the victim and our forensic work will also continue for some time as we put together a picture of what has occurred," he said.

A team of more than 20 investigators were working on the case and scene examination was likely to continue for several days, Hill said.

Neighbours of the Travis Rd flat spoken to by The Press yesterday were shocked to learn of the murder. Several nearby properties have been abandoned because of quake damage.

Vicki Stikkelman, who has lived in the area for 26 years, said she heard teenage girls laughing and giggling at the property at about 8am yesterday.

"I heard a noise like a giggle or a big squeal, and then it happened again soon after," she said.

She was "absolutely petrified" despite the arrest.

"I do not feel safe. To me, it's quite sickening that this has happened in my own backyard," Stikkelman said.

Ron Abrey, who lived next door, said a young couple had lived in the house for about a year, but were rarely seen.

"They kept to themselves. There was never any trouble, no noise or anything."

He and wife Val heard nothing after going to bed on Tuesday about 10.30pm.

Juliet O'Connor said she did not know who lived at the property, but had heard "party noises" coming from the house in the past.

The neighbourhood was not a bad one, she said.

"Pre-quake, there was the odd doughnut at the end of the road and the odd tagger, but nothing like this," she said.

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- The Press

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