Man charged with murder in Kim Richmond case
A Waikato man has been charged with the murder of Kim Richmond, whose body was found a year after she went missing.
The 45-year-old man will appear in court on June 20.
Richmond's body was found in a Ford Ranger ute which was recovered from Lake Arapuni in the Waikato on Thursday.
The 42-year-old mum-of-three was last seen at her home in Arohena, near Te Awamutu, on July 31, 2016.
Tyre marks on the gravel entrance to her driveway indicated she had headed south.
There were no reported sightings of her since her disappearance. Her bank cards were found on the roadside in the central North Island a few months later. Her bank accounts and phone went untouched.
Police scoured Lake Arapuni last year for any sign of her vehicle. But on Tuesday last week, the police national dive squad returned to search again.
Patterson said they would cover areas they had not been able to access in their first search.
The Arapuni power station had been shut down to allow the police dive squad to probe safely in the dark, still waters of the South Waikato hydro lake.
The ute was found six metres beneath the surface. It was recovered within a crane's reach of a ramp commonly used by boaties out for a day's skiing and fun on the water.
Last week Richmond's mother, Raywynne Richmond, said the family was coping well.
"We're doing as best we can," she said from her Te Puke home.
"My daughter was a beautiful woman, a beautiful mother and partner."
Police said they had contacted Richmond's family to inform them of the arrest. Her sister, Tina Richmond, said the family did not want to comment.