Amy McGillivray

Amy is the lifestyles reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Arrests after woman's death


A post-mortem examination is planned today for an 18-year-old Tauranga woman found dead outside a hospital.

Security guards discovered the woman's body early yesterday, prompting police detectives to investigate events surrounding her death including the abduction of the driver who hit her.

Senior Sergeant Lew Warner said it was believed the woman, whose name had not been released last night, was with two associates when a man driving a Toyota Prado, struck her on the Tauranga side of the lower Kaimai ranges about 3am yesterday.

Mr Warner refused to be drawn on the woman's relationship with the two people.

A 30-year-old man and 23-year-old woman, wearing blue police-issued tracksuits, appeared in Manukau District Court yesterday jointly charged with aggravated robbery, kidnapping and injuring with intent.

They were also charged with unlawfully taking a vehicle stolen from Tauranga Hospital yesterday and found abandoned at the abduction scene.

The pair were given name suppression and remanded in custody until tomorrow.

The Prado's driver, Tauranga's Neville Brown, stopped after hitting the woman.

Mr Brown was pulled from his car and assaulted before being forced back into the vehicle and abducted. He escaped and raised the alarm when the car stopped a short distance from the scene of the incident.

He was taken to hospital and treated for head injuries but later released and was working with police.

Mr Warner said it appeared the dead woman had been dropped outside the hospital. She was found about 4am and her injuries were consistent with a crash.

About 4.30am, Auckland police reported the silver Prado had been recovered in Papakura and they had arrested a man and a woman for unlawfully being on a property.

"There is still a fair bit of work to be done and there will need to be a post mortem to establish exactly when and how the young woman found in Matamata died," Mr Warner said.

"However at this stage we are working on the belief that a chain of events began when the stolen stationwagon broke down or ran out of petrol in the Kaimai Range, leaving the offenders stranded."

He said the dead woman had "a number of injuries" and a post-mortem examination would be necessary to "establish definitively whether she was the person who was struck by the Toyota".

Police have appealed for information from witnesses travelling between Tauranga, Matamata and Auckland yesterday morning who saw the Toyota Prado.

Anyone who saw the stolen Nissan stationwagon since should also contact police.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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