A 27-year-old man driving in a rural area of New Plymouth is accused of hitting a female runner and then moving her body about 10km to where she was found in the back seat of a car.
The New Plymouth man has been charged with manslaughter after the body of 45-year-old Anne Elizabeth McCullough was found yesterday.
She is believed to have been running in a rural area near Frankley Rd, New Plymouth when she was hit by the vehicle between 1.30 and 2pm.
She was found about 2.30pm in the back seat of a purple Holden Commodore near a place known as Meeting of the Waters, south of New Plymouth.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said police were appealing for any sightings of "a distinctive purple 1987 Holden Commodore sedan with mag wheels" driving around New Plymouth yesterday afternoon.
"More specifically we are looking for sightings in the location of the top end of Frankley Rd, Carrington Rd, Baker Rd, Mangorei, Junction Rd and the Meeting of the Waters," he said.
Anyone with information should call New Plymouth police on 06 759 9456 or 06 759 5500.
Forensic scientists are conducting a scene examination at the Meeting of the Waters.
The serious crash unit is investigating a scene on Upper Frankley Rd.
The charged man is to appear in New Plymouth District Court tomorrow.