Arrests in farmhand killing up to seven
Police have made two more arrests in relation to the murder of Elderslie dairy farm worker Justin McFarlane.
A 26-year-old woman and a 17-year-old man, both from Oamaru, were arrested yesterday on charges of being accessories after the fact in relation to help given to four people charged with Mr McFarlane's murder.
The latest arrests come as search teams comb an area of the Maheno-Kakanui Rd, south of Oamaru, for items of interest related to Mr McFarlane's death.
Police say several items potentially related to the killing had been found by a team of about 20 people.
Alongside seven specialist police search staff, 14 local community volunteers from the North Otago Search and Rescue Club, the North Otago Tramping Club and the local fishing club have been helping with the search.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Ferguson praised the efforts of the members of the public helping police.
"Their assistance is hugely appreciated and they've been fantastic in giving up their time to help police in their search for items of interest."
The search was expected to be completed yesterday.
At a press conference in Oamaru on Tuesday, acting Detective Inspector Colin Blackie said police would potentially investigate at least eight people in relation to the slaying of Mr McFarlane.
Four of the seven people arrested face murder charges and have been remanded to appear in the High Court at Timaru on October 1, though no High Court judge is scheduled to be in Timaru on that day.
Mr McFarlane was found dead in his rural Pine Hill Rd home in the early hours of September 11.
A scene examination of the property has been completed and access was returned to the owners late on Tuesday.
The exact cause of Mr McFarlane's death has yet to be released.
- © Fairfax NZ News