Family of dead Auckland man found

JULIAN RAETHEL
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2013
Community Lane flat
JULIAN RAETHEL/ Fairfax NZ

FINAL DAYS: The block of state housing flats where Raymond Preston's body was found.

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Police have located the family of an Auckland man whose body lay undiscovered in a state house for four days.

Raymond Preston's remains were found in his West Auckland flat, part of a Housing New Zealand complex, on February 14 after neighbours were alerted by flies and a bad smell.

Neighbours knew little about Preston, saying he kept to himself, so police went public with an appeal for information about any possible next of kin.

Family members got in touch after an acquaintance read the story online.

Older sister Kristine Headland said the news came as a shock.

''A friend of ours called us up notifying us of the article -  we had no idea.''

''Raymond was well loved by the family. He became a bit of a recluse but was still a very nice person,'' she said.

Preston, 59, was the second youngest in a family of six children who grew up in Mt Roskill. He had three sisters and two brothers and once worked as a builder.

Headland said his work was outstanding.

''He also had the most amazing general knowledge and was very quick-witted. He loved to read, watch documentaries and the horse racing also interested him.''

Preston never married and had no children of his own.

His ex-partner, Judith said he was a great role model for her two children.

''Ray and I were together for 11 years but I knew him for a long time before that. He was very charismatic and had a lovely way with the children. He was like a stepfather to them.

''The last time I saw him was about a year ago,'' she said.

A funeral for Preston took place in Onehunga yesterday.

The exact time and cause of his death is still unknown but police are say it is not suspicious.

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