Stabbing victim's family "desperate" for answers

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 14:05 04/01/2013
Fairfax NZ

The family of ex-pat Kiwi Robert Wilkinson, who was murdered at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day, has urged the public to help find the killer.

Robert Murray Wilkinson
VICTIM: Robert Murray Wilkinson died after being stabbed in the neck and head in Waihi Beach on New Year's Day.

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The son of an ex-pat Kiwi who died following a violent attack at Waihi Beach on New Year’s Day is desperate to understand why his father was killed.

Robert Murray Wilkinson, known as Murrary, aged 64, died in Waikato Hospital yesterday afternoon from stabbing injuries suffered in the attack in the town of Waihi Beach.  

The case has now been upgraded to a homicide investigation and this afternoon Mr Wilkinson’s wife Luise, son Dan and daughter Cory Rance, gathered at the Hamilton Police station.

Dan Wilkinson said the family was ‘‘desperate’’ to understand why he was killed and who was responsible.

"A person unknown to us took our father, husband, grandfather, brother and, worst of all - our mate," he said.

"It’s impossible to express the complete devastation the family are now going through."

The family appealed for anyone with information to come forward. 

"Somebody has the answer to my dad's death."

Meanwhile, neighbours of the keen fisherman told Sydney’s The Telegraph  that Mr Wilkinson had lived in the Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly for about ten years and that prior to retirement he had worked in helicopter maintenance. 

"He'd do anything for people," a neighbour said. 

"I think most of the family were pretty close. He was a very peaceful man, I've never seen him angry." 

Mr Wilkinson, who returned to New Zealand most years to see family and friends, travelled as far as Northern Territory to go on fishing expeditions. 

"He fished in a lot of places," the neighbour said. 

"He had some favourite spots in Queensland." 

More than 30 police are investigating the death and a post-mortem examination will be conducted in Auckland today. 

Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald, said he was grateful for people who had contacted police after seeing appeals for information in the media or from passing the temporary Waihi Beach Police station opposite the crime scene on the corner of Beach and Oceanview Roads.  

Mr McDonald said investigators had received "lot of information" from the public, but said they were still keen to hear from anyone who may have seen something happen around 25 Beach Rd about 1am on Tuesday morning.  

"We’re still very keen to hear from anyone who may have taken images on their cellphones, iPads, iPods or other technology, of people celebrating New Year’s around the surf club, camping ground, Beach Rd, Hinemoa Rd and Oceanview Rd between 12.30-1.30am on that day."  

He called for anyone with images to email them to Thames@police.govt.nz, along with consent to use them as part of the ongoing investigation.  

"Given the advantages of modern technology it wasn’t inconceivable that with the public behind us, police could identify through images provided from the public, the majority of people present in the area around the time of the attack."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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