Dead man's name released

By Kyra Dawson

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The name of a man whose body was found in his Rotorua home has been released, as a couple who live upstairs reveal they have changed their locks because they are scared.

The body of Ian Walter White, 58, was found at his Peace St, Fenton Park home about 4.30pm on Tuesday. District field crime manager Detective Senior Sergeant Lew Warner said his death was being treated as suspicious.

"Our thoughts are with Mr White's family as we continue with our investigation into the circumstances of his death," Mr Warner said.

"At this stage, it is not clear exactly what has occurred so we are keeping an open mind and are talking to a number of people to help build a picture of his movements and anyone he might have interacted with prior to his death."

The body of Ian Walter White is removed from the Peace St address yesterday.  Photo/Ben Fraser
The body of Ian Walter White is removed from the Peace St address yesterday. Photo/Ben Fraser


An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Yesterday, forensic scientists arrived from Auckland to join police carrying out a scene investigation. Funeral directors removed a body from the two-storey brick house just after 2pm.

The Rotorua Daily Post spoke to a man and woman who live in the flat above where Mr White's body was found. Speaking on the condition they were not named, they said they did not hear or notice anything unusual before they were told about the body by police.

The couple, who moved to New Zealand three months ago, had locksmiths change the locks to their upstairs flat yesterday "to be safe".

"I'm a little bit scared because it's the first time something like this has happened to us . . . we only just moved to the country and this happens," the woman said.

The man said he was not sure how to feel. "We still don't really know what happened . . . it's a shock. We will still stay here. We can't think of anything else right now, so it will take a few days to work out what to do."

Police investigate a suspicious death in Peace St in Rotorua. Photo/Ben Fraser
Police investigate a suspicious death in Peace St in Rotorua. Photo/Ben Fraser


They said they believed Mr White lived by himself.

Although they didn't see him very often, he was "nice".

Peace St resident Mike Tennent said he arrived home about 5.30pm on Tuesday and saw a couple of people talking to the police.

"If it's a suicide or a drug overdose then those can happen anywhere, but if it's a murder we start to worry a touch but usually things happen for a reason, and it's not like someone was shooting up the neighbourhood."

Another neighbour said she knew Mr White and had spoken to him on a number of occasions.

"We got on well, he was very quiet and kept to himself . . . it's sad to have something like that happen and not know why. It's generally a really quiet and nice street. It's really sad."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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