Murdered Chch woman suffered major injuries

A Christchurch woman, whose body was found in the Avon River on Friday, suffered extensive injuries that caused her death, a post mortem has found.

Ngatai Lynette Manning, also known as Mallory, was found by a kayaker near Dallington Terrace, east of the city centre, about 6.50am yesterday.

It was the pathologist's view that she was dead before she entered the river, inquiry head, Detective Inspector Greg Williams, said today.

"The family is absolutely devastated by Mallory's death. She has a partner living in Christchurch who contacted us after the release last night.

"She also has direct family living in Christchurch and we are currently arranging for family spokesperson.

"As yet we have not been able to identify where Mallory went into the river or where she was attacked," Mr Williams said.

Police confirmed they were looking for a weapon, and the search of the river where she was found may have uncovered items of interest.

However, they would not say what the items were.

A number of addresses have been searched around the city, and police said they were interested in a house near where Ms Manning's body was found.

Police were still trying to establish Ms Manning's movements on Thursday night.

Mr Williams said police knew she was at home until about 9.30pm and then travelled into town, where she worked as a prostitute.

"Mallory generally worked from the corner of Peterborough Street and Manchester and we had people come forward sighting her there that evening around 10 to 10.30pm."

Ms Manning's watch she was wearing was stopped at 11 o'clock.

Mr Williams said it was common for the girls to be picked up in vehicles and they often take their clients to specific areas in and around that vicinity.

"I have directed that the areas be visited but to date we have not found anything of note."

Mr Williams said police were receiving good assistance from the public and from the people that work in that industry in and around the Manchester Street area.

"I do ask that people to come forward and provide any information that they think might be helpful."

-NZPA