LATEST: Man charged with murder

By Kristin Edge

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A 29-year-old Whangarei man has been charged with murder and will appear in court today. (Saturday)

Police launched a homicide investigation after the body of a 21-year-old Whangarei female was discovered near the Waiorohia Stream on Tarewa Rd about 4am yesterday.

Tarewa Road was blocked while police gathered evidence all day and has only just been partially reopened now.

 Public are allowed access to the Tarewa Shopping Centre from the Walton Street end of Tarewa

Road.

Detective Sergeant Dene Begbie said the man and woman had known each other.

Mr Begbie confirmed police were were not seeking anyone else.

They believe they know who the woman is, but won't be able to formally identify her until they have the results from an autopsy, which was conducted in Auckland.

 "We believe we know who the woman is but she has not been formally identified. We have had contact with the family of the young woman throughout the day and we are providing them with the support we can," Mr Begbie said.

 "The male was known to the victim. Exactly what the relationship they were in will be part of the investigation."

Mr Begbie said the police had to work around the tidal river flow yesterday to avoid it impacting on gathering evidence from the scene. Until the post-mortem examination was complete it was not clear what the woman's injuries were or whether police would need to search for a weapon.

A worker from a nearby building that overlooked the stream said he could see the woman lying face-down on the rocks.

He said she was wearing a jersey and jeans.

"It looks like she had fallen and was just sprawled out."

Whangarei firefighters were called in to help. A police photographer was lifted into the air on the end of an elevated ladder to photograph the scene before the body was removed about 10.30am.

A ladder was lifted over the side of the bridge with officers placing the body on a rescue stretcher that was then winched clear of the stream and placed on the road. A blue tarpaulin was placed over the body.

Mr Begbie appealed to members of the public to report any behaviour that caught their eye before 4am so they could establish where the woman and man had been earlier.Mr Begbie appealed to members of the public to report any behaviour that caught their eye before 4am so they could establish where the woman and man had been earlier.

Anyone who can help police should contact Mr Begbie at Whangarei police station on 09 430 4500

- Northern Advocate

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