A teenager found dead on a New Plymouth street was drunk and appears to have fallen to his death, police say.
Dakota Kahui, 16, also known as Dakota Totorewa, was found by a member of the public about 8pm on Tuesday in a driveway on Devon St West.
The discovery of the teen's body sparked a major police investigation.
A post mortem examination was carried out on Wednesday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said the boy had fallen more than eight metres to his death.
"It appears that the 16-year-old has stumbled on to a private property on Devon St West and has fallen from that property on to the driveway where he was located by the jogger," Mr Coward said.
Dakota was from the Waikato area but had been staying with family in Hawera and had hitch-hiked to New Plymouth on Monday afternoon.
"He has sustained a significant head injury which wasn't evident from a visual examination."
Mr Coward said the investigation confirmed Dakota was drunk and alone at the time he fell.
Police would not say what the teen had been drinking.
"We are saying that the death is a sad accident and the matter will be referred to the coroner," he said.
Mr Coward thanked the public for the assistance they provided to police.
"Once again they've provided invaluable information that has assisted police in piecing together the circumstances surrounding the death of the young man."
He said inquiries into finding the driver of a vehicle described as a "white van with multi-coloured spirals and a hippies-type design" that picked up the youth while hitchhiking were continuing.
- Taranaki Daily News
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