Homicide suspect 'calm and meek' man
Shocked friends of the man believed to be at the centre of the South Auckland double homicide say he was "calm and meek".
It is understood 51-year-old Waimauku resident John Mowatt was the man who shot himself in a forest northwest of Auckland late on Tuesday night.
Although police would not confirm his identity, they said they believed the shot man was connected to the deaths of Glenys Stanton, 47, and Trevor Waite, 51, whose bodies were found on Sunday morning in a house south of Papakura.
Counties Manukau Superintendent John Tims said yesterday that the man who killed himself was a former partner of Ms Stanton, but would not say how long the pair had been involved or when their relationship ended.
"There is a strong inference that this male is connected to the homicide in Ponga Rd," he said.
Police had been seeking the man and tracked down his Ford Falcon sedan after a concerned friend contacted them on Tuesday night saying he was "distressed and unstable".
They got within 50 metres of the man before they heard a gunshot.
West Auckland resident Geoff Necklen, who met Mr Mowatt nearly 20 years ago through the Titirangi Baptist Church, said: "He was a good friend and a very calm, quiet guy . . . a good family man."
Mr Mowatt had two sons and a daughter, between the ages of 16 and 21, with his former partner Michele.
Mr Necklen recalled the last time he saw Mr Mowatt, a couple of months ago.
"He was very happy," he said. "He called in out of the blue to see me and was saying he was getting his life together . . . It's a terrible shock."
Police said the man was unemployed at the time of his death and it is understood he may have been suffering from depression.
Mr Waite and Ms Stanton, who met through an outdoor enthusiasts website, had only recently begun their relationship, according to police.
A woman who knew them through Meetup.com said that they went on a trip to Taupo over Queen's Birthday Weekend to cycle the Timber Trail in Pureora Forest Park.
The pair were "absolutely in love".
They were found shot to death at Mr Waite's Opaheke home by his older daughter, Kelsey.
Mr Waite, a father of three, worked for insurance firm Vero for 15 years and was described as a great father.
Ms Stanton, a mother of two and grandmother of three, had just started work as an Air New Zealand flight attendant and devastated family said she had "so much more to give".
Police have refused to explicitly pin the murders on Mr Mowatt and said there was still a lot of work to be done "to cement the evidence".
- © Fairfax NZ News