Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

'Murder-suicide' shocks rural BoP

Detective Inspector Mark Loper would not speculate on the cause of the deaths, which are being treated as suspicious. Photo / Thinkstock
Detective Inspector Mark Loper would not speculate on the cause of the deaths, which are being treated as suspicious. Photo / Thinkstock

The apparent murder-suicide of a couple from a well-known Bay of Plenty family has shocked those who knew them.

Scott Crawford Meikle, 43, and Gail Marie Almond, 41, were found dead on Sunday afternoon at their rural home near Pukehina, about 20km east of Te Puke.

The property remained cordoned off yesterday as police examined the scene.

The field crime manager for the Bay of Plenty police district, Detective Inspector Mark Loper, would not speculate on the cause of the deaths, which are being treated as suspicious.

But he said there was nothing to suggest a third person had been involved.

The bodies of the deceased were removed from the property yesterday afternoon and were taken to Auckland for an autopsy this morning to determine the cause of death.

"Until the post-mortem has been completed and we have received those results, we will not be speculating on the possible cause of death, nor whether any weapons may have been involved," said Mr Loper.

Mr Meikle had worked for five years as a dairy consultant for Fiber Fresh, helping farmers in the northern Bay of Plenty with rearing calves.

One local farmer, whom Mr Meikle visited 60 times in weekly sessions throughout the calving season, said the farming community were shocked at the news.

"He was a really affable guy, always friendly and as happy as Larry. Everyone's pretty surprised."

Fiber Fresh consultant Dougal Scott described his colleague of five years as a "really good bloke" who loved his two children.

"He was never stressed ... just a good, kind person. We talked about two or three times a week on the phone.

"One of my friends, who is a customer of Scotty's, said the incident was close to where Scott lived and I'd been trying to ring him to see if he knew anything about it."

Mr Scott said he knew of nothing that would explain why Mr Meikle had died.

A number of properties on the road are owned by members of the Meikle family. Mr Meikle's father, Peter, and brother Glenn own the Mt Maunganui club Illuminati, which opened last year and was touted as the Bay of Plenty's first "super club".

- NZ Herald

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