Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Teenager charged over 'violent' death of dairy worker

Justin Conrad McFarlane's 1992 Mitsubishi GTO two-door red sedan car was found extensively burnt. Photo / Rebecca Ryan
Justin Conrad McFarlane's 1992 Mitsubishi GTO two-door red sedan car was found extensively burnt. Photo / Rebecca Ryan

An 18-year-old has appeared in court charged with murder over the "violent" death of Otago dairy farm worker Justin McFarlane.

Steven Kenneth Boskell of Palmerston appeared before Judge Stephen Coyle in Dunedin District Court this afternoon.

He is charged with murdering Mr McFarlane jointly with a person or persons unknown on September 11.

Represented by public defender Campbell Savage, Boskell was remanded in custody by consent to the High Court at Timaru, on October 1.

A homicide investigation was launched after 35-year-old Mr McFarlane was found dead inside his home on Pine Hill Rd in rural Elderslie, near Oamaru, about 4.30am on Wednesday.

Investigators yesterday described the death as "violent".

Police believe more than one person was involved and inquiries are continuing.

The alarm was raised by a fellow dairy worker who called at the house after Mr McFarlane did not turn up for work. His car was found burnt out about 25km away.

Acting Detective Inspector Colin Blackie said police believed the people involved in Mr McFarlane's death were known to him and it was not a random act.

He said the investigation was focused on establishing Mr McFarlane's movements leading up to his death.

Police are calling for sightings of a grey Nissan Skyline car believed to be involved in Mr McFarlane's death.

The car was travelling on roads around Elderslie and Maheno, inland from Oamaru, early on Wednesday morning before a short police pursuit on State Highway 1 south of Oamaru.

Police said they had since impounded the car.

Anyone with information should contact Oamaru police station on (03) 433 1400 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

- Additional reporting by APNZ

- Otago Daily Times

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