The man accused of murdering an Opunake man yesterday will remain in custody until appearing in the High Court later this month.
Shiloh Dallas Mareikura, 33, of Ohakune did not appear in the New Plymouth District Court but was administratively remanded in custody by consent until September 20.
Mareikura is charged with the murder of Desroe Mare Bishop, 37, at Opunake on September 5.
Police say Mr Bishop died after he was stabbed in his Opunake home about 5.30am. A post mortem will be carried out today.
The homicide investigation is ongoing.
The Taranaki Daily News reported earlier a young Opunake boy may have seen his father being stabbed to death.
It is believed the boy was woken by his father's screams and ran for help after being threatened by the attacker.
Police arrested Mareikura at another Opunake address at 9am.
The Opunake community is reeling in disbelief and grief at the death of the man who was described as a "gentle giant" and was, by all accounts, liked and respected.
One of the Mr Bishop's cousins said his death was a tragedy.
He had been an active man, interested in snowboarding and surfing and had lived in Opunake all his life, she said. He lived alone with his son. "He was a really cool guy. Had a great personality and he was always on the go. You couldn't keep up with him."
Mr Borrell could not say whether Mr Bishop had been alive when emergency services arrived, but the Taranaki Daily News believes a defibrillator was used in an attempt to save him.
Yesterday morning the armed offenders squad members were seen leaving a house on Allison St, where it is understood Mareikura was arrested. Both that property and the house at Gisbourne Tce have been cordoned off for forensic examination.
Mr Bishop's body is expected to be moved from the house today and sent for a post mortem in Palmerston North or Wellington.
Taranaki police chief, Inspector Blair Telford, said police were making inquiries and had a number of people, including family members, to speak to.
"One of our main priorities is removing the man's body from his property and returning him to his family as soon as possible," Mr Telford said.
Mr Telford confirmed it appeared there had been an argument between the two men before Mr Bishop was stabbed.
Kay Fleming, a direct neighbour of the Gisbourne Tce property, said Mr Bishop was a good neighbour and a good father.
"I heard them out at the washing line one day. The boy wanted to do something, but I could just hear him saying ‘no, sorry boy, you can't go'. He never raised his voice or used bad language or anything."
The first Mrs Fleming and her husband heard of the incident was when they saw ambulance, fire and police cars and officers outside their house. "The fire siren had gone off four times but we'd thought it was just the wind."
Vicky Foster was working at the Allied Petrol station around the corner from the Allison St address and said it was yet another in a string of recent tragedies in the town. "It's the fourth death in a week."
She said a man had died after crashing into a power pole, an elderly woman had died and a couple had lost a young child.
She said Mr Bishop would come into the station and she would call him "Cheeseburger" because he always had a cheeseburger.
Opunake businessman John Smith said the police presence reminded him of another tragic Opunake death several years ago.
"It's like Headlands all over again. It's deja vu."
In 2011 police shot and killed Anthony Ratahi, aged 46, from Stratford, after he held a woman hostage at Headlands Hotel.
The community had only just recovered, he said.
"It's not good for Opunake."
Mr Smith was taking his children to school yesterday morning when he saw the emergency vehicles and the cordons. "It was a bit of a shock. He wasn't the sort of guy you would expect this to happen to."
Mr Borrell is leading the team of 15 police involved in the investigation.
The Taranaki Daily News understands Mareikura had been at the tangi of an elderly woman.
Pub owner Jason McLachlan said people had gathered at his establishment on Wednesday night following the tangi. He said Mareikura had been in the pub and had drunk several handles of Tui and Waikato.
A bar tender who worked that night and did not want to be named said Mareikura had been unusually polite and had handed her some bottles when she was cleaning up.
They said Mareikura was the last person to leave the pub about 11.30pm.
Police are appealing for information from people who may have seen any suspicious activity in Opunake between 4am and 6am yesterday morning. Contact police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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