Arrests over vandalism of slain pizza man's memorial

Jordan Voudouris. Photo / Supplied
Jordan Voudouris. Photo / Supplied

Two arrests have been made following the vandalism of a memorial to a slain Paeroa man.

Police have arrested two local men, aged 38 and 42, for the the vandalism of Jordan Voudouris' memorial but have stressed at this stage there is no indication the pair are connected to Mr Voudouris' murder.

Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Whitehead said the men have been charged with wilful damage and theft and will appear in the Waihi District Court next Tuesday.

"Police are still following a number of lines of inquiry in the search for Jordan's killer, and it was important to investigate this damage in case there was a link to the homicide. But at this stage, it doesn't appear there is any connection between these two events.

"That said, it is frustrating that mindless behaviour like this can divert investigators from their primary focus of finding the person or people responsible for Jordan's murder.''

Mr Whitehead said anyone who may have information useful to the inquiry should come forward, and "not jump to conclusions'' or be distracted by events that did not have any apparent connection to the murder.

"The vandalism is just another piece of the picture that at this stage appears unconnected to Jordan's death. That's why it's still extremely important that anyone with information that could help us makes contact with Police. Even the most seemingly insignificant piece of information may be the vital clue that leads us to the killer.''

Mr Whitehead said police were continuing to receive regular pieces of information which were proving helpful, as was information gained from reviewing CCTV footage, which had been useful in confirming timing of events with witnesses.

"We thank all of those people who have come forward or provided tips and other information, and ask that it keeps coming. It is highly likely that someone from the local community has information that will lead us to solving this crime, and we urge them to come forward.''

Mr Voudouris' funeral was held yesterday at an Albany church in Auckland, with a number of his friends making the trip from Paeroa to say farewell.

His family have asked for privacy since his death but said through the police that their hearts were broken as they grieved for their beloved Pappa, a father of three.

"Our pain is indescribable,'' they said.

"You have taken from us our wonderful, loving, caring, funny, gentle Pappa and Papous. You have altered our lives, and taken our hopes and dreams. You have taken from a community a generous, kind, giving businessman.

"With our hearts we plead to the public for help. If anyone has any information to help the police with their investigation please, please come forward.''

The results of a post-mortem examination have not been released and police have not described Mr Voudouris' injuries or their possible cause or whether there was any link between his death and two aggravated robberies in Waihi and Katikati.

A memorial service for Mr Voudouris will be held at the Paeroa War Memorial Hall at 12.30pm tomorrow.

- APNZ

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