Body was in drain for 30 hours

Peter Black died in this stormwater drain over the weekend after going in to retrieve his car keys. Photo / Hana Garrett-Walker
Peter Black died in this stormwater drain over the weekend after going in to retrieve his car keys. Photo / Hana Garrett-Walker

A man who died retrieving keys from a stormwater drain in central Wellington had been in it for about 30 hours before his body was found.

A member of the public found 43-year-old Peter Black's body in a car park near national museum Te Papa, close to the central Wellington waterfront, about noon on Sunday.

Detective Inspector Paul Basham said preliminary results of a post-mortem examination carried out yesterday and police inquiries indicated the Johnsonville man's death was accidental.

Police had initially been treating the death as unexplained and suspicious.

"Whilst the Coroner will determine the exact cause of death, it appears Mr Black dropped his car keys down the storm water culvert and had attempted to retrieve them.

"Police recovered a set of keys in the storm water culvert belonging to the deceased, as a result of a thorough scene examination.''

A police spokeswoman said police believed Mr Black entered the drain about 6am on Saturday morning to get his keys and was unable to get out.

Flowers have been placed at the drain, which has been covered and cordoned off by road cones.

Mr Black worked at Metal Construction in Wellington's Ngauranga suburb.

Police would continue inquiries into his death on behalf of the coroner, who would then rule on cause of death.

- APNZ

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