A skeleton has been found in an abandoned house - and is missing a skull.
The discovery has sparked a police investigation with officers combing the Auckland property for clues.
A senior detective yesterday confirmed the find and issued a call to the public for help identifying the remains, which appeared to have been dumped in a garage on the Mt Wellington property in the past 12 months.
Alliance Demolition owner Andrew Davy said he called police last month after his staff found the bones. He said he was working through the house before demolition checking for valuable timber when two staff called him to the garage.
The bones were in a pile of what appeared to be food waste on the garage floor.
The gruesome find became more macabre the closer the men looked. "There was no skull - that's what was missing."
Davy said he rang the police and officers began arriving in increasing numbers. Rows of large power pylons run above the abandoned house on the Barrack Rd site. Davy said there were still fragments of clothing clinging to the bones, which were piled in a heap as if they had been tipped from a container. Davy said the demolition had been halted for weeks while police scoured the property for clues.
He said there was extensive forensic testing.
"We weren't allowed to continue until they had finished fingerprinting," said Davy.
Police would not say whether the discovery had prompted a murder inquiry. Detective Sergeant Graham Shand said a post mortem esamination on October 1 found the bones were a male about 157cm-164cm tall.
He said two items of clothing were located with the bones. They included a size 8 Converse shoe and a pair of denim jeans with an 85cm waist.
Shand said the police investigation - called Operation Tyson - was focused on identifying the dead person. He said police had yet to successfully make an identification.
Shand said help from the public was needed and asked anyone with knowledge of how the bones got to the house or whose they were to call Glen Innes police on 524 1936.