Pair charged over McMurdo murder

Lee McMurdo. Photo / Supplied
Lee McMurdo. Photo / Supplied

Two men have been charged with murdering Lee McMurdo at his Helensville home in July last year, police said today.

The unemployed west Auckland men, aged 24 and 26, will appear in the North Shore District Court on Monday.

Detective Inspector Greg Cramer, who is leading the investigation, said the arrests were "a satisfying development" for his team and the McMurdo family.

"Throughout the investigation the Operation MANU team received enormous support from the residents of Helensville and many other communities beyond and we're very appreciative of that," he added.

McMurdo was found dead by his 12-year-old daughter Lateasha in the backyard of his Helensville home in July last year.

Police said they believed the 32-year-old had turned to using and dealing drugs "as a means of escaping a difficult financial situation following the collapse of his business".

"I believe that Mr McMurdo was dealing in the new illicit substance MDVP which is marketed and known as 'bath salts.' MDVP is a stimulant and relatively new to New Zealand, but is widely known in some Scandinavian Countries and parts of the United States," said Mr Cramer last month.

MDVP has been linked to a number of violent or bizarre incidents around the world, along with a number of overdose deaths.

Mr Cramer said the investigation into Mr McMurdo's death had led to the seizure of illegal drugs, the recovery of stolen property including boats, cars and earth moving machinery and multiple arrests for lower level criminal offending.

A white Mitsubishi Mirage with a black bonnet stolen from west Auckland in the early hours of July 27 last year is believed to be linked to the murder.

It was driven north late on July 31 and is believed to have hit a cow in the Wellsford area, sustaining frontal damage, Mr Cramer said.

Bruce McMurdo, Mr McMurdo's father, said last month the death had devastated his family.

"A year has passed and it doesn't get any easier, particularly as none of us understand why he died.

"Lee was a much loved son, brother and dad.

"His daughter Lateasha is really struggling to come to terms with losing the father she idolised.

"Lee's two younger children, Bowen and Jazmin, don't understand why their dad is not with them."

-HERALD ONLINE

- NZ Herald

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