Pair arrested over missing Kiwi

Last updated 12:43 25/07/2013
Gordon Tearonui Hamm
ABDUCTED: Gordon Tearonui Hamm.

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Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in Australia over the alleged kidnapping of a New Zealander.

Victoria police spokeswoman Sharon Darcy said investigators had arrested a 29-year-old and a 35-year-old in relation to the disappearance of Gordon Tearonui Hamm.

Police believed Hamm, 34, was abducted and possibly killed during an orchestrated kidnapping in the west Victorian town of Nelson, about four kilometres from the South Australian border, on July 17.

A female friend of Hamm, who witnessed the abduction, told police she was driving with him across a bridge about 4am when two vehicles blocked her vehicle's path to the front and rear.

Two men armed with firearms got out of their cars, assaulted Hamm and then forcibly removed him from the vehicle.

The woman was told to leave in her car and she fled the scene. Hamm has not been seen since.

Homicide Squad Detective Inspector John Potter told reporters on Sunday that it appeared one shot had been fired during the "vicious" abduction.

"[Mr Hamm] was clearly targeted, with two vehicles, two men and firearms involved," Potter said.

"We don't know whether Mr Hamm was shot. We know he was assaulted so he's clearly got injuries and potentially fatal injuries."

Residents in Nelson said police found traces of blood on the bridge and also recovered Hamm's footwear from the playground.

Friends in New Zealand described him as a "good young man".

Liza Brown remembered him as "a very well mannered, respectful, good young man". "Please god, bring Gordon safely home to his family," she wrote on facebook.

Her thoughts were echoed by Jaya Hicks who posted: "Gordon was a kind, honest and gentle person despite what he was involved in, I pray he will returned home."

The arrested men were scheduled to appear in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court today and were expected to be charged with murder.

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- The Age

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