Ambulance visited hours before boy's death

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Duncan Metekingi, Antony Herewini-Christiansen's great uncle, with a horse he says his great-nephew loved. Photo / Bevan Conley
Duncan Metekingi, Antony Herewini-Christiansen's great uncle, with a horse he says his great-nephew loved. Photo / Bevan Conley

St John Ambulance answered a 111 call at the home of a 9-year-old Raetihi boy just hours before he was found dead at 6am on December 7.

St John has confirmed an ambulance attended the call to the Duncan St house at 10pm on December 6. They were there for about half an hour.

On Monday, police investigating the death of Antony Herewini-Christiansen said they were treating the death as suspicious after prescription medicine was found in the boy's system.

Relatives said he complained of a sore stomach the night before he died at his home.

Antony's great-uncle Duncan Metekingi who lives close by in Duncan St, told the Chronicle an ambulance crew visited the home because Antony had complained of a sore stomach.

"The ambulance was there at 10pm that night and after examining him the crew said Antony was fine and they left about 10.30pm," he said.

Mr Metekingi was not in the house when St John was there but had been given details by relatives.

A 15-year-old cousin, Taiko Cribb, said he had gone over to see Antony that night.

"We were just watching TV. The ambulance people said he was okay. Antony just had a sore stomach ... I only stayed a bit longer then I went home," he said.

Mr Metekingi said it had been difficult days since Antony's sudden death.

The small two-bedroomed house was closed up and blessed by a local kamatua after Antony's mother Claudia Herewini was hospitalised after the funeral, he said.

The funeral was held at the Te Puke Marae on December 11.

"But we really need to know what actually happened you know this waiting, waiting, waiting is no good for anyone. The whole whanau are just hanging around all day out in the street here waiting to hear something.

"The police have been around so many times and asked us questions they were even back again this morning."

Antony's mother was expected to return home on Friday, Mr Metekingi said.

On Monday Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Borrell said test results on Antony "were only the initial findings." He said the police were not able to say cause of death until the had final test results.

Antony was a pupil of Raetihi Primary School.

Principal Kawana Wallace said yesterday the sooner the police investigation found the answer to the sudden death, "then the people of the Raetihi would be able to grieve properly".

"We all need to know what actually happened and the sooner the better. It's very, very sad," Mr Wallace said.

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