Mystery surrounds death of rookie security guard

CHARANPREET SINGH DHALIWAL: Was found dead at a west Auckland building site.
CHARANPREET SINGH DHALIWAL: Was found dead at a west Auckland building site.

A security guard's first night on the job has proved fatal.

Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal, 21, was alone on his first "trial" night when he was found dead on a deserted West Auckland building site.

His bloodied body was discovered at the site office, near the Lincoln Rd motorway on-ramp, on Friday morning.

olice called the death "unexplained" and said it was too early to determine if it was homicide. But friends who viewed the body of the devout Sikh said Dhaliwal had blood on the back of his head and coming from his nose.

Bloodstains were also found around his body, near the entrance to the site, which was deserted yesterday as police began their investigation behind a cordon.

Detective Sergeant Eugene Pickett said police had spoken with witnesses and no one from the site was being investigated.

Dhaliwal's Papatoetoe flatmates said their friend didn't smoke or drink, and regularly attended a temple in Otahuhu.

He had "no enemies", they said.

"He's always been with us," Amandeeb Singh said.

"He was happy, a really nice guy. I can't think how it happened, it's a real shock. We thought it might be an accident because he's got no enemies, nothing like that. We don't have time to fight with other guys."

A friend who identified Dhaliwal had told them his body was found without his turban, with his hair messed and blood coming from the back of his head and nose, Singh said.

Dhaliwal was the sole guard on duty, contracted by CNE Security, who asked him to do his first shift for them on Thursday. He had not had a uniform, just a high-vis vest, his flatmates said.

The last Singh heard of his friend was a phone call around midnight.

"He was OK, he just asked 'how are you?' I was busy, I asked him to call later."

But at 6.30am on Friday, Singh learned his friend was dead.

CNE Security owner Chris Elavia said he was in shock. He offered Dhaliwal the shift "for a trial" because he was looking to hire him.

"My regular staff wanted the night off, so I called him for a trial."

Elavia said he had spoken with police and was trying to contact Dhaliwal's family and friends.

"This is the first time in my life that this has happened. I haven't slept for two days."

Dhaliwal arrived in New Zealand alone from Punjab in India two years ago to study IT at the New Zealand School of Education in New Lynn.

He had been looking for work to extend his visa.

His mother and brother spoke little English, and it was hard for friends to tell them they had no information on how he died, Singh said.

Police are appealing for information on (09) 839-0653, or Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.

Sunday News