Missing Hamilton man's body found in car

Police searching for a missing Hamilton man have found a body in a car they were also looking for.

Police found the car in Mansel Ave in Hillcrest, Hamilton, last night after calls from the public following media coverage of an alleged assault and the disappearance of Hamilton man Piki Kingi, Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page said today.

Earlier today, staff examining the car found the body of an unidentified man, Mr Page said.

"The process of gaining entry into the locked car whilst maintaining the forensic integrity of the scene has been a time consuming and somewhat difficult task," he said.

"As yet we've not been able to complete the formal identification process. However, we can confirm it was the body of a man and we believe it is likely to be linked to the activities that took place that we outlined earlier."

Mr Kingi, 38, has not been seen since 11am last Wednesday, when he filled up his 1992 Mazda MS6 hatchback car at the Caltex in suburban Hillcrest, Hamilton East.

Mr Page said police had spoken to Mr Kingi's family and they were aware of the developments and the identification process.

"These developments heighten the need for us to be able to speak to anyone who saw the car, a 1992 burgundy Mazda MS6 liftback, registration ACC958, between when it was seen being driven by Mr Kingi about 11am on Wednesday and when it was found last night.

"In particular, we would like to hear from anyone with information on when and who dropped the car off on Mansel Ave and who transported them once they had parked up the car."

Mr Page said it was too early to speculate on the cause of death.

"Establishing the cause of death and extent of injury will be the subject of a post-mortem to be carried out tomorrow."

Meanwhile, investigations into what police believe to be a serious assault at a house in Cobham Drive, Hamilton East, on Friday, and possibly linked to Mr Kingi's disappearance continued.

"Our staff are still speaking to the occupants in an effort to establish what occurred," Mr Page said at the time.

"There's still a lot of work to be done identifying what took place and who was there at the time."

- NZPA

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