Stabbing victim's family struggle for answers

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 14:16 04/01/2013
Fairfax NZ

The family of ex-pat Kiwi Robert Wilkinson, who was murdered at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day, has urged the public to help find the killer.

Robert Murray Wilkinson
VICTIM: Robert Murray Wilkinson died after being stabbed in the neck and head in Waihi Beach on New Year's Day.

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The son of an ex-pat Kiwi who died following a violent attack at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day is desperate to understand why his father was killed.

Robert Murray Wilkinson, 64, died in Waikato Hospital yesterday afternoon from stab wounds suffered in the attack.

The case has been upgraded to a homicide investigation and this afternoon members of Wilkinson's family spoke of their grief.

His wife Luise, son Dan and daughter Cory Rance, gathered at Hamilton police station to deliver a statement.

They said they were ''desperate'' to understand why he was killed.

''It's impossible to express the complete devastation the family are now going through,'' Dan Wilkinson said.

HE'D HELP ANYONE

Meanwhile, neighbours of the keen fisherman told Australia's Telegraph newspaper that Robert Wilkinson had lived in the Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly for about 10 years. Prior to retirement he worked in helicopter maintenance.

"He'd do anything for people," a neighbour said.

"I think most of the family were pretty close. He was a very peaceful man, I've never seen him angry."

Robert Wilkinson, who returned to New Zealand most years to see family and friends, travelled as far as the Northern Territory to go on fishing expeditions.

"He fished in a lot of places," the neighbour said.

"He had some favourite spots in Queensland."

More than 30 police were investigating the death and an autopsy examination was to be conducted in Auckland today.

Inspector Dana McDonald said he was grateful to people who had contacted police after seeing appeals for information in the media or from passing the temporary Waihi Beach police station opposite the crime scene on the corner of Beach and Oceanview Roads.  

McDonald said investigators had received "lot of information" from the public, but they were still keen to hear from anyone who may have seen something happen around 25 Beach Rd about 1am on Tuesday.

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- Waikato Times

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