Sleepout death now homicide probe - police

ROB KIDD
Last updated 13:17 13/12/2012
Fairfax NZ

Detective Inspector Mark Gutry talks to media outside the house where a 23-year-old woman was found dead.

Alicia McCallion
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ALICIA MCCALLION: The 23-year-old was found dead at her home in Papakura.

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A 23-year-old woman found dead at her Auckland home was attacked with a sharp weapon and her death is being treated as a homicide.

Alicia McCallion was found by family members at 7.30am yesterday in a sleepout at their home in Cotton Pl, Papakura. The last time they saw her alive was 8.30pm the day.

An autopsy was being completed this morning.

"The female has sustained injuries that are likely to have been caused by a sharp weapon which has not been located,'' Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said.

Gutry said police would continue to search the home McCallion shared with her mother, father and brother, and would speak with neighbours.

Police want residents to check their homes for ''any unusual items or property'' and to contact them if they find anything.

A team of 25 officers is working on the case.

The sleepout where McCallion was found is attached to the main house but Gutry said there was a separate entrance.

He would not discuss whether there had been forced entry or where the body was found in the room.

Friends have paid tribute on McCallion's Facebook page.

Lynda Smythe said: "R.I.P Alicia I'm so sorry to hear feels so unreal was just the other day we were having a good old chat. You will be missed by many but forever in our hearts."

Another friend, Angela Russel said: "R.I.P ..... A beauiful girl, gone to young, you'll be missed."

And Tracy Stewart said:" Aj life won't be the same without you. I hope that where ever you are you are at peace and I hope they get the person who took you away to soon really quickly." [sic]

Neighbours, who did not want to be named, yesterday said the McCallions were a lovely family.

A woman who went to school with the victim described her as a quiet person.

McCallion's Facebook page records her as graduating from hairdressing school, the Cut Above Academy, in 2010, and as a former Rosehill College student.

Stewart and Valerie Wade, who have lived on Cotton Pl for at least 30 years, said their neighbours were a hard-working family who had been living there for many years and had done a lot of home improvements during that time.

Stewart Wade said it was a quiet street and the worst thing that had happened was a couple of recent burglaries.

Police want members of the public to call (09) 261 1300 if they saw or heard anything in relation to McCallion's death and are especially interested in any activity around Cotton Pl between 8pm Tuesday and 8am yesterday.

Anyone with information can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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