Auckland homicide victim named

ROB KIDD
Last updated 17:26 02/01/2013

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The name of the man found dead in east Auckland in the early hours of New Year's Day has been released by police.

Nathan Albert, 27, from Papatoetoe was found just after 4am yesterday by the side of Pilkington Rd in Panmure and a homicide enquiry was promptly launched.

Police were called about a serious assault by a passing member of the public, who tried to revive the man.

Today Detective Inspector Mark Benefield said statements from witnesses pointed to only one person being involved in the attack, which involved an as yet unrecovered weapon.

A man known to Mr Albert is assisting with the investigation, but police would not comment on the nature of the discussions.

A 100-metre section of the busy road was roped off yesterday but this morning police reopened it, with only a couple of areas cordoned off.

"There's a bit of a clean up still going on," said Benefield.

"There's blood in places, which is not a good thing to have in the middle of the road."

A blessing will take place today at the spot where the man died.

Next of kin had been informed, Benefield said, and they were understandably devastated.

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

Benefield confirmed no arrests had been made and he would not comment on whether there were specific "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.

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

Police urged anyone with information to call 0800 4 TERRI or 0800 4 83774, or anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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