Suspect only in Christchurch short time

The man at the centre of an inquiry into the killing of a young woman and an attack on two female hitchhikers was only in Christchurch a short time.

Police yesterday interviewed the 38-year-old in Christchurch Hospital, but no charges have been laid.

The man had been transferred from Grey Base Hospital and was last night awaiting surgery for dog bites sustained during his apprehension in south Westland about 3am on Monday.

Detectives have been piecing together the man's movements leading up to the two weekend attacks.

The body of Christchurch woman Amy Elizabeth Farrall, 24, was found in the boot of a car parked in a Woolston supermarket car park about 5pm on Sunday.

About an hour earlier, two hitchhikers - a 28-year-old German woman and a 27-year-old woman of Japanese and Dutch origin - were found stabbed and with broken bones in Franz Josef.

"We believe he had been in Christchurch for a relatively short period of time," Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said.

The man lived at Farrall's home in Wildberry St, Woolston, for some of that time. However, his precise movements were still being established, he said.

Farrall, a 24-year-old community support worker for Richmond Services, was reported missing on Saturday and a search began.

The 38-year-old man allegedly picked up the two hitchhikers in Whataroa on Sunday, but they managed to escape from his car.

It was understood the German tourist suffered three stab injuries to her neck in an altercation in the car and the Dutch/Japanese woman suffered pelvic fractures when she fell out of the moving vehicle.

The 38-year-old was subdued by one or two police dogs after a 90-minute pursuit, followed by a five-hour stand-off with armed police.

The two hitchhikers remained in Christchurch Hospital last night. Police hoped to speak to them again today.

A Nelson man, who met the pair two weeks ago and had been in contact with them, said the women were "still in shock and scared".

"They are trusting and honest, but not naive," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"To find out what they went through sickens me."

The pair had recently met in Nelson and decided to journey south together.

They had been hitchhiking down the West Coast after staying a few days in Greymouth.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said yesterday she expected a "thorough investigation" from Corrections into their management of the 38-year-old, who was on parole.

She said from the information given to her in a verbal briefing, there was "nothing to suggest this offender's parole conditions weren't handled properly".

Richmond Services chief executive Dr Barbara Disley said in a statement that Farrall was "a valued member of our team".

"Her colleagues are devastated by her tragic death," she said.

"I can assure you that across the board Richmond takes staff safety very seriously and we have comprehensive health safety policies and practices in place to support all staff."

Farrall's friends also expressed their grief and disbelief.

One friend said her death still seemed "surreal".

"She was the loveliest, kindest person. It hasn't really sunk in," he said.

Police appealed for any further sightings of the Nissan Terrano driven by the 38-year-old man, in Christchurch or between the city and the West Coast on Saturday.

They also sought sightings of Farrall's white Toyota Corolla in the Woolston area on Saturday morning.

The Press