Murder charge over body-in-car

22:56, Apr 01 2014
Police say this Nissan Terrano vehicle was involved in the attack on the two tourists and is believed to be linked to an earlier homicide in Christchurch. They are asking anyone who saw it on Saturday to contact them.

Charges have been laid over the killing of a Christchurch woman and an attack on two hitchhikers. 

A 38-year-old Otaki man will appear at a bedside court hearing in Christchurch Hospital at 2.15pm. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said the man would be charged with murder and sexual violation in relation to the death of Christchurch community support worker Amy Elizabeth Farrall, 24.

Amy Farrall
AMY FARRALL: The 24-year-old's body was found in a car at Woolston New World.

He would also face one charge of aggravated robbery, one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and charges of failing to stop and reckless driving over the West Coast attack on two hitchhikers. 

A 28-year-old German woman and a 27-year-old woman of Japanese and Dutch origin were found stabbed and with broken bones in Franz Josef about 4pm on Sunday.

The tourists also remain in Christchurch Hospital in a stable condition.


The charges against the 38-year-old man come after police interviewed him in hospital yesterday. 

He has been treated for bite wounds sustained during his apprehension on the West Coast early on Monday.


Members of the public have offered their support to the two female hitchhikers now recovering in Christchurch Hospital.

A German woman and woman of Japanese and Dutch origin were seriously injured while hitchhiking between Whataroa amd Franz Joseph on Sunday.

A Christchurch Hospital spokeswoman said the two women were both in stable conditions this morning. She was not sure how long they would need to stay at the hospital.

Members of the public had sent the women gifts while they were undergoing initial treatment at Greymouth Hospital.

The women were transferred to Christchurch late on Monday and police hoped to speak to them further today.

The hospital spokeswoman said the hitchhikers were given various gifts, including teddies, by people wanting to show their support.

Hospital staff also held a collection for the women, and a "lovely older man" from Ashburton donated money.

A local tourism group in the Franz Josef area had also offered to show the women "the sights", if they wanted to go back, the spokeswoman said.


A 38-year-old man was arrested in relation to the attack following a 90-minute police chase and five-hour standoff in South Westland overnight Sunday.

The man had been transferred from Grey Base Hospital and was last night awaiting surgery for dog bites sustained during his apprehension in south Westland about 3am on Monday.

Detectives have been piecing together the man's movements leading up to the two weekend attacks.

The body of Christchurch woman Amy Elizabeth Farrall, 24, was found in the boot of a car parked in a Woolston supermarket car park about 5pm on Sunday.

About an hour earlier, two hitchhikers were found stabbed and with broken bones in Franz Josef.

"We believe he had been in Christchurch for a relatively short period of time," Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said.

The man lived at Farrall's home in Wildberry St, Woolston, for some of that time. However, his precise movements were still being established, he said.


Farrall, a 24-year-old community support worker for Richmond Services, was reported missing on Saturday and a search began.


Richmond Services chief executive Dr Barbara Disley said in a statement that Farrall was "a valued member of our team".

"Her colleagues are devastated by her tragic death," she said.

"I can assure you that across the board Richmond takes staff safety very seriously and we have comprehensive health safety policies and practices in place to support all staff."

Farrall's friends also expressed their grief and disbelief.

One friend said her death still seemed "surreal".

"She was the loveliest, kindest person. It hasn't really sunk in," he said.

Police appealed for any further sightings of the Nissan Terrano driven by the 38-year-old man, in Christchurch or between the city and the West Coast on Saturday.

They also sought sightings of Farrall's white Toyota Corolla in the Woolston area on Saturday morning.


A Nelson man, who met the pair two weeks ago and had been in contact with them, said the women were "still in shock and scared".

"They are trusting and honest, but not naive," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"To find out what they went through sickens me."

The pair had recently met in Nelson and decided to journey south together.

They had been hitchhiking down the West Coast after staying a few days in Greymouth.

The Press