Auckland homicide inquiry launched

ROB KIDD
Last updated 13:37 01/01/2013
Fairfax NZ

Auckland homicide inquiry launched after body found at an East Auckland address

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Police are searching for a weapon after a 27-year-old man was found dead in east Auckland this morning.

The man, understood to be from Papatoetoe, was found by the side of Pilkington Rd in Panmure after police were called about a serious assault by a passing member of the public, who tried to revive the man.

At a press conference this afternoon Detective Inspector Mark Benefield said police were unsure as to the man's identity and as a result, had not contacted next of kin.

Neighbours reported hearing a large argument on the street soon before an alleged assault occurred at about 4.20am.

The victim was described by one resident as "a big huge fella" after her kids alerted her to the street fracas.

Forensic teams are currently conducting a scene examination under a large blue marquee and the 100-metre stretch of road which has been cordoned off is littered with orange markers, which Benefield said may mark a blood trail.

Neighbours had been spoken to and the woman who found the dead man was formally interviewed by police this morning.

Benefield confirmed no arrests had been made and he would not comment on whether there were "people of interest" who police were seeking.

The 27-year-old's death was caused by a weapon, but he would not go into detail about what that might be, or the state of the body when police arrived.

A post mortem when the body was removed later today would reveal more, Benefield said.

"It's a bad start to the year," he said, before vowing to do everything possible to solve the case - dubbed Operation Terry - for the family of the dead man.

Neighbours spoken to by Fairfax were shocked that such a violent altercation took place on the "usually quiet" street.

"It's going to be a terrible new year for two families," neighbour Dave Mason said.

"The family of the dead guy and the one who did it."

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