The elderly couple who were found dead with wanted man Ross Bremner have been described as "lovely, bubbly people" who had a passion for darts.
Mona Tuwhangai, 82, and Maurice O'Donnell, 72, were found dead in their home in the tiny coastal community of Kinohaku yesterday.
The couple both had health problems and Tuwhangai used a walking frame to get around. They are believed to have an adult daughter.
Former Clubs New Zealand Darts Association president national secretary Stuart Campbell got to know the couple through the association and their shared passion for darts.
O'Donnell used to be the executive member for the King Country, but resigned from the position a few years ago to look after his wife.
Campbell said the couple were increasingly having difficulty getting around. Their vulnerability made what happened to them all the more shocking, he said.
"I only heard this morning and it's just so, so sad because they were such nice people - really nice people - and I don't know who the hell would hurt them.
"Mona had trouble moving and even getting up near the end, which is why Maurice resigned from the executive. And Maurice was having trouble getting around as well.
"It's just shocking. She always came to tournaments with Maurice and she used to play as well."
Waitomo darts club member Sharon Te Ngare, who had known the couple for 20 years, said they were due at the King Country Area Darts meet yesterday.
"They're lovely, they were really lovely. They retired from darts but still came in to support us."
Neighbour Allan Smith said the couple were a loving husband and wife and their demise has sent shock waves through the tiny community.
Smith, a farmer in the coastal settlement south of Kawhia, said he grew up with Tuwhangai.
Smith said she was a well-respected member of the community who came from a "full of fun" family.
"They were a bubbly family.
"They were a sporting family, good at tennis."
Smith said the strength in small communities was that everyone pulled together in such difficult times.
A woman who answered the phone at the home of Tuwhangai family members said they wanted privacy.
"Everybody just wants to get their heads around it."
The granddaughter of the woman who found the bodies on Friday night said family were going to visit her nana yesterday.
"She's doing well, she's a bit shaken up."