Tracey Patient's family thanks public for support

Tracey Patient, 13, was found strangled by pantyhose in the bush of the Waitakere Ranges on January 30, 1976. Photo / Supplied
Tracey Patient, 13, was found strangled by pantyhose in the bush of the Waitakere Ranges on January 30, 1976. Photo / Supplied

The family of Tracey Patient has thanked the public for their support since police made a new appeal for information.

Police made the appeal on January 28 when they announced they had officially reopened the case and were "following new leads".

"We have been overwhelmed by the level of support that people in New Zealand have shown for Tracey's case since the police media campaign started," the family said in a statement.

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"It is amazing, but very reassuring, that so many people remember what happened to Tracey and, more importantly, still care.

"We really do appreciate this and would like to publicly thank everyone who has viewed and shared the video, and posted comments on the police Facebook pages."

The person who murdered Tracey took away the freedom and altered the childhoods of the whole community, the family said.

"We have heard some heart-breaking stories of how Tracey's murder affected not just her friends, but also people who had never met her.

"We have every confidence in the police team who are working on the case and feel sure that, with the public's help, they have a very good chance of solving the case and bringing Tracey's murderer to justice."

The Operation Tracey 0800 number has received about 165 calls since police released a public appeal on January 28.

About 70 of the calls were suggestions as to what the "126040" number could relate to.

The remaining calls were from people nominating suspects or providing information relating to the case.

Several people said it was the first time they had made contact with the police to provide information.

The investigation team is now working through the information provided, assessing and prioritising the number of inquiries which the public response has generated.

Anyone with information can call the Operation Tracey hotline on 0800 000 111.

- NZ Herald

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