Police investigating the death of 20-year-old Israel Jack in Rotorua believe it likely he was in a vehicle minutes before he died.
Mr Jack's body was found on Te Ngae Rd after an emergency call reporting he had been struck by a vehicle at approximately 4.25am on Sunday, August 18. Police enquiries established that at least two vehicles had struck Mr Jack and he was lying prone in the road on both occasions.
A crucial timeline question remains however after confirmation that Mr Jack had been at the Caltex service station 1.4km away just five minutes before the emergency call was made.
Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith said: "We've carried out a considerable amount of work around the timings that morning and we have considered a variety of scenarios. Mr Jack being in a vehicle for all or part of that last 1.4km appears to be the only explanation for him travelling so far in such a short space of time.
"We are keeping an open mind as to what that means, but it is of the utmost importance that we speak to anyone who saw him getting into a vehicle or gave him a ride that morning. We will continue to investigate Mr Jack's death until we have established how he came to be lying in the road and the circumstances leading up to his death."
If anyone gave a ride to a man they believe could have been Mr Jack on Te Ngae Road around 4.20am on Sunday, 18 August they are being urged to come forward and tell police where they picked him up and where they dropped him off.
Police also want to hear from anyone who saw Mr Jack that morning on Te Ngae Road; saw him with anyone, saw him getting into a vehicle or has any information that may be of assistance to this investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Rotorua Police on 07 348 0099. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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