Hard to believe Jordan has gone, says best friend
"And not just a friend, a brother ..."MATT BOWEN
Jordan Voudouris's best mate Manos tells Matt Bowen how his death has affected him.
Manos hasn't seen Jordan Voudouris' body yet.
He hasn't accepted his closest friend won't pick up the phone if he dials Mykonos Pizza in Paeroa.
"It's been hard'', he says from his pizza shop, Al Camino, in Whitianga.
"Without the police letting us know exactly what's going on, it's hard to know what's happening, that he's gone, ya know, really gone.''
Manos, who didn't wish to give his surname, and Jordan were as close as true friends get.
On Saturday night they talked for nearly two hours on the phone; on Monday morning Jordan was found dead on the footpath near Mykonos in a puddle of blood.
"As I said to my wife, I hope it was a heart attack and he fell and hit himself and he died that way. Not because of the few dollars he had in his pocket - that's my hardest thing to understand - if he died for $20 in his pocket, it's a shame.''
Manos says it's tough expressing himself on the phone from Al Camino.
"It's hard losing a friend,'' he says. "And not just a friend, a brother...''
A 20-strong police team investigating Mr Voudouris suspicious death continued to focus their investigation on the scene at Mykono's yesterday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Whitehead said the scene examination was continuing and may take another two days.
"The investigation team are still working to profile and background Mr Jordan Voudouris to gain an understanding of his habits and routines. Friends, employees and patrons have been able to assist us with this," he said.
Police are also working with local businesses that were open on Sunday night to identify people who were out and about, and who may help reconstruct activity in the town that night.
"The investigation team encourage anyone who may have information to contact us."
Jordan had two brothers - Christos, the eldest and Nikos, the youngest. When he was five or six his mother died and the three boys were taken into a Greek orphanage.
But Jordan didn't like it. He'd run away. He preferred to stay with his dad, who remarried and had a new family.
It was 1981 when Jordan arrived in New Zealand, in Christos' footsteps, as there was nothing left for him in Greece after finishing his military service with the navy.
That's when he met Manos in New Lynn, West Auckland. Manos employed his compatriot and taught him the art of making the perfect pizza. After a year and half, he struck out on his own but the business didn't go well and he started working as a cobbler in Devonport.
Jordan also fathered three children to his now ex-wife who lives north of Auckland.
He also became well known in the Greek community. Another old, good friend, Emanouel Souris, said news of Jordan's death hit them hard. None of the Greeks could say a bad thing about him, Mr Souris said.
Manos and Jordan kept in touch and often worked together. In 1992 the friends flew home and worked for five years staying in Manos' family home.
"We were as close as two friends can be,'' Manos said. ``In 2000, I sold my business in Whangaparoa, and he was working there about four years. I went away. When I came back he was working for his brother in Devonport and somehow he ended up buying Mykonos in Paeroa. I worked for him there about seven months off and on, as friends do.''
Jordan's brothers still run businesses in Auckland: Niko's Pizza and Serafino's Pizzeria on the North Shore.
Manos said two things were of the utmost importance to Jordan.
"His life was, as some people suggest and I know very well, his love for pizzas and his kids - it was really important to him.''
If you can help the police investigation call the Paeroa station on 07-862-8744, or on the anonymous Crimestoppers line 0800-555-111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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