The death of Paeroa pizza and pasta shop owner Jordan Voudouris is now being treated as a homicide, police say.
A post-mortem examination was carried out in Auckland today as the probe into the death of the popular 55-year-old continued.
Mr Voudouris was found dead on a driveway behind Mykonos Pizza and Pasta Paeroa yesterday.
Detective Senior Glenn Tinsley said the post-mortem examination proved the death was suspicious.
"I can now confirm we are dealing with a homicide investigation which means the earlier approach of treating the unexplained death as suspicious was the correct one.''
He confirmed there was blood at the scene and no weapon had been located.
A team of 20 detectives was working on the investigation and a scene examination had been carried out, Mr Tinsley said.
Police were looking into whether the death was linked to an attempted robbery of a Mobil service station in Waihi and a dairy in Katikati yesterday morning.
Mr Tinsley thanked the Paeroa community for supporting police.
"As their work heads into the next phase investigators have been buoyed by the support shown by the Paeroa and wider community as we go about working on this case.''
Mr Voudouris, a former Auckland resident, is survived by three children.
Flowers and tributes continue to be placed at the front of his shop on State Highway 1.
To give information call Paeroa Police Station on 07 862 8744.By Hayden Donnell Email Hayden