Death still a mystery after new area search

20:37, Jun 23 2014
Rutger Hale
Rutger Hale

Police resuming a search for the mystery object that killed 22-year-old Rutger Hale between Wanaka and Lake Hawea have failed to recover anything of significance.

Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron, of Queenstown, said a search was conducted on Saturday "in a specific area as a result of a review of information gathered as part of the investigation".

"Police regularly review information held in cases such as this to ensure that, as much as possible, all avenues have been explored. As a result of the search, nothing of significance was found," he said.

Rutger Hale
ROADSIDE HUNT: A police search team combs the roadside and scrub near the spot where Rutger Hale was killed by a mystery object between Wanaka and Lake Hawea in October.

Hale, 22, was driving with his girlfriend Danielle Oylear on State Highway 6 on October 24 when an object smashed through the windscreen of his Subaru car, hit him on the head and exited through the rear window.

The object has not been identified, despite extensive searches and scientific analyses.

On Saturday, seven members of a specialist police search group from Christchurch spent the day combing the roadside and scrub about 500 metres north of the spot where the mystery object struck the car.


Oylear has said the object that killed her partner appeared to come off the back of a white utility vehicle.

She said yesterday she was happy police had returned to the site of the crash and remained working on the case.

"It's nice to know they are still thinking about it [the crash] and it's not over and done with," she said.

Hale's death was now before the coroner and an inquest was scheduled for September. 

The Southland Times