Knives recovered in police investigation of New Year stabbing

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Several knives have been recovered by police in their murder investigation of a Queensland man who died at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day.

The police investigation into the stabbing of 64-year-old Murray Wilkinson is now in its seventh day.

Mr Wilkinson was fatally stabbed outside a caravan parked in the driveway of a Waihi Beach home when he went to investigate a noise outside early on Tuesday morning.

He died in Waikato Hospital on Thursday from severe injuries to his head and neck.

About 30 police staff from across the North Island were working on the investigation, named Operation Brad, said Waikato District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Chris Page.

Over the weekend, the scene examination of the Beach Rd property was completed, Mr Page said.

The property was cleaned and then blessed by a local Kaumatua in the presence of Mr Wilkinson's family.

The address has now been returned to the family.

While this was going on, police completed an extensive search in and around properties with the assistance of the Auckland-based police Specialist Search Group.

"During the course of our enquiries over the weekend a number of items of interest have been recovered, including several knives,'' Mr Page said.

Members of the public have assisted police in traditional ways, such as advising them of suspicious objects on their properties, while others have helped using more modern methods such as accessing social media sites.

This has helped police build up an accurate picture of just who was in the area at the time of Mr Wilkinson's attack, Mr Page said.

While the temporary police station outside the scene has been removed along with the police presence, members of the public can still access the enquiry team either at the Waihi and Waihi Beach police stations.

The Auckland police staff have returned but other officers from the Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, Waitakere, Manawatu, Taranaki and the greater Waikato are continuing to work on the case.

The public can also contact the investigation team via the Operation Brad crimeline, 0800 Op Brad (0800 672723). Alternatively information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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