Blessing at site of Waihi Beach stabbing
The Waihi Beach property where an expatriate New Zealander was stabbed early on New Year's Day has been blessed by local kaumatua.
Family of Murray Wilkinson, 64, gathered for the blessing and are now preparing for a private memorial service this week.
Mr Wilkinson died in Waikato Hospital on Thursday from stab wounds suffered in an attack outside a caravan parked in the driveway of a Waihi Beach home early on January 1. He and his wife were sleeping in the caravan at a friend's property and Mr Wilkinson was attacked while investigating a noise outside.
Waikato district crime manager Detective Inspector Chris Page said about 30 officers from across the North Island were working on Operation Brad, investigating Mr Wilkinson's death. "Over the weekend the scene examination of 25 Beach Rd, Waihi Beach, was completed.
"The property was cleaned and then blessed by a local kaumatua in the presence of Mr Wilkinson's family," Mr Page said.
"The address has now been returned to the family." While this was going on an extensive search was completed in and around nearby properties with the assistance of the Auckland-based police specialist search group.
"These Auckland staff have returned but other officers from Counties Manukau, Waitakere, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Taranaki and the greater Waikato continue to work on the case as we apply a ‘whole of policing' approach to solving this crime," Mr Page said.
During the weekend a number of items of interest had been recovered, including several knives. He said people had been very helpful and were helping police build up a picture of who was in the Waihi Beach area at the time of the attack.
While the temporary police station outside the crime scene had been removed along with the police presence, people could still contact the inquiry team at the Waihi or Waihi Beach police stations or via the Operation Brad crimeline, 0800 Op Brad (0800 672 723), or make an anonymous call to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.