Friends pay tribute to Levin stabbing victim
Less than 24 hours after the fatal stabbing of a Levin man and more than 700 friends have flocked to Facebook to remember him.
Ambulance and police staff found Michael Les Valentine, 27, on the front lawn outside the house he shared with his fiancée and another flatmate at a rural property off State Highway 1, seven kilometres north of Levin, on Friday night.
He had been fatally stabbed in his upper body and emergency services were unable to resuscitate him saying his injuries were too critical for him to survive.
Police said last night three men have been arrested in connection to Mr Valentine's death.
A 31-year-old man had been charged with murder and would appear in the Levin District Court tomorrow morning.
Two other men, aged 22 and 29, have been charged with assault in relation to the death and will appear in court next week.
The 22-year-old man appeared in court yesterday and is due to reappear on Thursday, while the 29-year-old will make his first court appearance tomorrow.
An ''R.I.P Mike Valentine'' Facebook tribute page was created yesterday to remember the Levin man and has been inundated with members and posts since the stabbing.
Tributes describe Mr Valentine as a ''man with a heart of gold'' a ''cheeky smile'' and ''mischievous nature''.
Friend John Mcgregor wrote: ''A great man taken down in his prime, a fun loving man who always stood for the underdog, would have given the shirt off his back ... Mike it has been an absolute pleasure knowing you. May you forever rest in peace, our thoughts and sorrows, condolences and heartfelt love to your surviving family and your many loving friends and relatives.''
Another friend Hollie Gardner posted: ''All my thoughts go out to your family bro, I remember meany meany [sic] years ago when we were good friends. You were such a clown but u had such a good heart, had your sad times but could never really tell, just put on a happy face and made everyone laugh anyway... It's truly sad that you have been taken away from your loved ones so young and by someone else's doing. Just no u r very loved and will never b forgotten xx...[sic]''
Detective Senior Sergeant Marc Hercock said police do not think it was a random attack and were not looking for anyone else in relation to the death.
Information from witnesses had led police to believe a fight had preceded the stabbing, he said.
"We believe that prior to Mr Valentine's death there was some type of altercation involving a number of other people ... we understand that there was disagreement in regards to some minor matters between the victim and those arrested."
Police were now seeking sightings of a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD, registration CTJ418, between 6pm to midnight on Friday night.
"We believe this vehicle has been used at some point prior to, and after the fatal stabbing of Mr Valentine," Mr Hercock said.
The scene examination is expected to continue over the next few days with post-mortem examination being conducted today to determine the extent of the victims injuries.
Police said their thoughts and condolences were with Mr Valentine's family and friends at this difficult time.