Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Ranui abduction: Two months on, no arrests, no justice

Police say an 11-year-old boy was abducted after getting off a train at the Ranui Railway Station, in West Auckland, on Thursday, Nov 17, 2016. Photo / Dean Purcell
Police say an 11-year-old boy was abducted after getting off a train at the Ranui Railway Station, in West Auckland, on Thursday, Nov 17, 2016. Photo / Dean Purcell

A man who abducted an 11-year-old boy off a West Auckland street, and sexually assaulted him, remains on the run two months after the incident.

Questions continue to surround the identity of the man who approached the youngster as he got off a train at the Ranui Railway Station on Thursday, November 17, last year.

The boy was heading home after school and walking towards Ranui Station Rd when he was approached by a man just before 4pm.

The man - described only as being in a grey van - asked the boy for directions, before the youngster was plucked off the street and into the vehicle.

The pupil would endure a prolonged sexual assault before his abductor returned him to Ranui shortly before 8pm.

The Herald On Sunday this week asked authorities whether any potential suspects had been identified, any arrests made and how many officers were still working on the case.

Police were also asked how the youngster and his family were doing and if officers had managed to get more details from the boy, about the attack.

Police said there was no update in the investigation.

Authorities said at the time they had received dozens of phone calls from members of the public with information.

No photographs or CCTV footage have been released by police, who also appealed to people in the area to check their cell phones for any photographs or video footage captured in and around the area that may be helpful to the case.

The boy was too traumatised to speak with officers immediately after the incident, but was due meet with specialist child interviewers and detectives from the Child Protection Team Register squad.

His family have not spoken out about the incident, but members of the local and wider New Zealand community have rallied to support them.

Almost $14,000 was raised in a fundraising effort via a Givealittle page which was set up by a group dubbed Kiwis Unite-Community Action for Ranui Assault Survivor.

The group is made up of women from around West Auckland who banded together to help raise funds for the "Ranui boy.''

Members of the group visited his family just before Christmas, where they passed on supermarket and petrol vouchers, as well as some money.

"They are very thankful for everyone's support - it has meant a lot to them,'' the group said.

"They are focusing on moving forward together as a family.''

The family said they would spend a bit of the money on a special Kiwi Christmas holiday; while their 11-year-old son was excited to buy some electronic games.

The rest of the funds will be put into a trust fund that will help pay towards his education, extra-curricular activities, medical and ongoing counselling costs not covered by the health system.

"If anything is left when he turns 25, the funds will be paid out to him directly.''

**Can you help? Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Senior Sergeant Jason McIntosh: 021 191 2659 or CrimeStoppers anonymous: 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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