Gunman search: Sightings help police track movements of killer's vehicle

By Joanne Carroll

Detectives have had several sightings from the public of a blue Jeep Cherokee, believed to be involved in the murder. Photo / File
Detectives have had several sightings from the public of a blue Jeep Cherokee, believed to be involved in the murder. Photo / File

Police have pieced together the movements of roadworker George Taiaroa's killer after the shooting in the remote South Waikato last week.

Detectives have had several sightings from the public of a blue Jeep Cherokee, believed to be involved in the murder.

Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said police received varying reports of speed, tail-gating and erratic driving of the vehicle after the shooting.

"Between 3.10pm and 3.14pm a logging truck crossed the bridge towards Taiaroa's position on the northern Ongaroto Rd side of the bridge. The driver saw a vehicle described as a blue Jeep Cherokee at Mr Taiaroa's stop-go position. He saw Mr Taiaroa fall and the Jeep drove away past the logging truck and over the bridge. The truck driver then helped Mr Taiaroa," she said.

People in a second vehicle about to cross the bridge towards Taiaroa saw a Jeep cross the bridge, pass them and head towards Tirohanga Rd. They also stopped to help.

"Two separate motorists report a vehicle fitting the description on Tirohanga Rd, suggesting it had turned right at the Tram Rd/Tirohanga Rd intersection and headed along Tirohanga Rd towards the intersection with Poihipi Rd," she said.

Perks said police were keen to speak to anyone who saw the vehicle after Tirohanga Rd, as there was a gap in the sightings.

Earlier this week Taiaroa's wife, Helen, and daughters Rochai, Melanie and Chanel, and son Chad, said they had no idea why anyone would want to harm a man they described as the "salt of the earth", kind and generous. They said he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

- Additional reporting by John Weekes

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 21 Aug 2014 17:37:46 Processing Time: 769ms