Police hunt for clues to horror quarry bashing in West Auckland timberyard security footage

Police want to identify this man seen at an Auckland petrol station with a woman who suffered a vicious bashing at a west Auckland quarry. Photo / NZ Police
Police want to identify this man seen at an Auckland petrol station with a woman who suffered a vicious bashing at a west Auckland quarry. Photo / NZ Police

Police are scrutinising security footage from Riverhead timber yards near where a woman fled to safety after a vicious beating at a nearby quarry.

Investigations are continuing into the brutal bashing of the 23-year-old who had been partying with friends along Ponsonby Rd at Saturday's Pride Parade before she disappeared and woke to find herself partially naked at a West Auckland quarry with a man standing over her with a bat.

The woman, who experienced hours of blackout, had been beaten and battered.

She managed to escape and call police who found her at a timberyard in Sawmill Rd in the early hours of Sunday morning, 25km from where she was last seen in the central city.

Police scoured the area looking for the man with the bat, but he had disappeared.

The woman could only provide a "very scant" description of the offender, but police were closing in on a vehicle they believe is linked to the beating.

Police are also awaiting the results of forensic testing, which will determine if the woman was sexually assaulted or if she'd been drugged earlier that night.

Yesterday police released footage of a man they want to speak to who was the last person seen with the woman at 10.20pm on Saturday. It was taken from the Mobil petrol station at the corner of Ponsonby and Karangahape Rds.

The man is wearing a long-sleeved collared shirt, shorts and black or navy Nike sneakers.

Today, the manager at the Mobil station said the man and woman shown on CCTV were on the forecourt and did not enter the store.

He could not confirm if the pair were on foot or with a car at the time.

The forecourt of the petrol station is a common shortcut between Ponsonby Rd and Karangahape Rd.

The woman was found in Sawmill Rd.
The woman was found in Sawmill Rd.

Police had also been collecting security footage from several timber and truck yards along Sawmill Rd where the woman was found.

A staff member at JSC Timber on Sawmill Rd, who did not wish to be named, said the footage they provided to police did not show the victim.

Sawmill Rd, a dead-end street, leads to a large and dense forest, and is located in a quiet, rural area of Riverhead.

Workers in the area knew few details about the event but some told the Herald it seemed weird and wasn't a nice thing to have happened.

Few homes are dotted around the area, which is mainly populated by workers arriving daily to a number of timber yards and work sites on Sawmill Rd.

At the end of the dead end street, a clearing of rubble and dust adjoins a large forest area. A manmade, narrow dirt road provides an access way to the clearing.

The remote area would be a "ghost town" at night once the yards close for business and the workers cars leave the street.

Forestry Rd becomes a dirt road not long after it intersects with Sawmill Rd. At the end of Forestry Rd is a gate which blocked access by car to Riverhead Forest.

- NZ Herald

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