The devastated daughter of an elderly couple found dead at their bach on the Kawhia harbour bears no animosity towards their suspected killer or his family, a spokesman for the family says.

Mona Tuwhangai, 82, and Maurice O'Donnell, 72, were likely killed by the fugitive Ross Bremner as he fled from the scene of his double knife attack on his parents last week.

His body was discovered alongside theirs at the remote Kinohaku home on Friday night.

Bremner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was wanted by police after allegedly fatally stabbing his mother Clare, 60, and wounding his father Keith at the couple's home in Otorohanga on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Police believe he travelled from Otorohanga to Kinohaku, south of Kawhia, some time after the attack on his parents, in a silver Holden Vectra.

It was unknown when he allegedly killed his next victims, and himself, but by Friday when the bodies were discovered by a neighbour, police said they had been there "for days".

A spokesman for Jo Kukutai, the only daughter of Tuwhangai and O'Donnell, said she was grieving deeply for her loss.

"But she doesn't bear any animosity towards the perpetrator or his family," the spokesman said.

"The Bremners are also grieving. They have a shared sense of grief."

Family and friends watched and prayed as the couple's bodies were removed from their bach yesterday and taken for an autopsy.

Mona's uncle and family kaumatua Nick Tuwhangai said it was a very emotional day but the family were strong.

"We had a karakia, we were united. I was very proud when they brought the body of the other fella out and nobody jumped up and down, although lots of them were angry. They just turned their backs, and held it together."

He said the couple were just ordinary people who "got on with life", but were part of a large family who loved them.

"We are very close. We don't see each other all the time but in times like this, we support each other," Tuwhangai said.

"We'll pull through this."

The family were planning a double tangi at Hia Kaitupeka Marae in Taumarunui later this week.

Police were working "day and night" to reconstruct the scene at the remote Waikato home, with specialist staff and ESR scientists on site, they said.

Investigators on Operation Arctic said the reconstruction was expected to take some time and may not be finally determined for several weeks at least.

There were seeking sightings of the Holden Vectra to piece together Bremner's movements during the last week.

"Police encourage anyone with information, even if it seems minor, to contact the Operation Arctic team," they said.

"This event has been tragic for the families and police are working closely with the families and the community to support them through this difficult time."

The bach in the tiny settlement of Kinohaku, near Kawhia, where the bodies of Mona Tuwhangai, Maurice O'Donnell and Ross Bremner were discovered on Friday. Photo / Alan Gibson
The bach in the tiny settlement of Kinohaku, near Kawhia, where the bodies of Mona Tuwhangai, Maurice O'Donnell and Ross Bremner were discovered on Friday. Photo / Alan Gibson

Bremner's mother had recently told friends her son had been in a dark place and his parents feared what he might do.

However, after the attack on Tuesday, police had said he was a "low risk" to the public, instead focusing on reaching out to his family, moving some of them to safety.

Waikato Police acting district commander Naila Hassan said she was "absolutely confident" in the investigation and denied police didn't work fast enough.

Last night she released a statement explaining and defending the investigation.

Hassan detailed the search area, the number of properties checked, resources deployed and said other family had been taken to safe places.

"There was no information available to police to indicate where he would go," she said.

"This is a tragic outcome and we acknowledge the sense of shock this has brought to several close-knit Waikato communities."

Police did not know why Bremner travelled to the house at Kinohaku or whether he knew the couple, who lived in Te Kuiti and were well-known and loved by the local community.

As their bodies were removed in two hearses last night, dozens of family members and friends, who gathered at the scene throughout the day, held a karakia.

Friends and family mourn on Saturday evening as the bodies of Mona Tuwhangai and Maurice O'Donnell are driven away in a hearse. Photo/Alan Gibson.
Friends and family mourn on Saturday evening as the bodies of Mona Tuwhangai and Maurice O'Donnell are driven away in a hearse. Photo/Alan Gibson.

One man performed an emotional haka and a police scene guard remained.

When Bremner's body was taken away in the afternoon, family members turned their backs to the hearse.

The Holden Vectra Bremner had driven to the home was taken away for examination.

Today a Waikato DHB spokeswoman confirmed Keith Bremner, 64, remained in a critical condition in intensive care.

A close friend of the family, Geoff Benefield, told the Herald he'd visited his long-time friend in the hospital.

"He's in a critical condition," he said. "He's in a coma, he's showing signs of rehabilitation, but it's going to be a long journey. At this stage we don't know."

Bremner had been living in the community since 2013. Police had said he had left with no cellphone, access to money and had few associates.

Anyone with information can contact the Operation Arctic team on 07 858 6200