The son of former All Black Bruce Reihana has spoken of his pain and loss after his girlfriend was murdered at the weekend.
Evaan Reihana is the son of Bruce Reihana, who played two tests for the All Blacks in 2000, and himself plays for France Top-14 club Bordeaux Begles. His girlfriend India Chipchase was found strangled in a home in the United Kingdom town of Northampton on Sunday (Monday NZT).
Mr Reihana expressed his grief on Instagram, posting a photo of the dark-haired beauty and promising to dedicate his rugby career to her.
"Honestly can't believe to think even now that you have left us in that way miss India eve Chipchase !! :'( I honestly hope that you rest in peace Hun and that I will be playing for you for as long as I know !!", he wrote."You will be the name on my strap that will port me luck in the game we love !! I will miss you a lot India !! Honestly ?"
Mr Reihana took to Twitter yesterday to share his sorrow.
"Still can't believe you are not with us any more ind [sic]," he wrote.
The Daily Mail reported that Miss Chipchase, the daughter of a doctor and a former private school pupil, was last seen outside a nightclub called NB, in Northampton, early on Saturday. Police smashed down the front door of a house 6km from where Miss Chipchase lived with her mother after tracing her phone to a nearby park.
Her body was found inside and a post-mortem examination the following day confirmed she died from neck injuries, the Daily Mail reported.
Reclusive bookkeeper, 51-year-old Edward Tenniswood, later appeared in court accused of her murder.
Tenniswood, who lives in the street where the body was found, spoke only once during the brief hearing at Northampton Magistrates' Court, to confirm that he understood the case would now be transferred to the Crown Court.
He wore a plain grey jumper as he heard a clerk read out the charge that he murdered India in Stanley Rd between January 30 and February 1.
I honestly can't believe to think even now that you have left us in that way miss India eve Chipchase !! :'( I honestly hope that you rest in peace Hun and that I will be playing for you for as long as I know !! You will be the name on my strap that will port me luck in the game we love !! I will miss you a lot India !! Honestly ??
No plea was entered and Tenniswood's solicitor, Derek Johnson, made no application for bail. The defendant will next appear at Northampton Crown Court on February 4.
Miss Chipchase had been working as a barmaid but was hoping to follow her father Jeremy into healthcare, and had completed a diploma in health and social care.
Jeremy Chipchase, 49, is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology who is currently working in Australia. India lived with her mother Suzanne, 47, her brother Harry, 18, and sisters Pia, 15, and Honor, 11, in an upmarket suburb of Northampton.
The family were too upset to speak about India's death, but her brother posted a message on Twitter saying: "I miss you my little angel. You'll always remain the best big sister I ever had and always hold a place deep in my heart."
Former Southland rugby player James Wilson, who plays for Northampton, tweeted: "My thoughts for family and friends of India. Terrible news in our town this weekend."
Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College, where Miss Chipchase got her diploma, said she had been "extremely popular", adding: "India was an extremely hard-working student during her time at Northampton College.
"India received praise from her placement supervisors for her ability to work within a team, her use of initiative and for the sensitive way she interacted with the clients and children."
Miss Chipchase was a former pupil at the £12,000 ($26,000)-a-year Pitsford School, whose headmaster Noel Toone described her as a "delightful girl" who would "go out of her way to help others".
Friends at the Collingtree pub, where she had been working, described her as a "smile machine", adding: "You were a joy to work with nothing ever being too much trouble, always gave without expectation, you brought joy to so many."
Police are still trying to establish Miss Chipchase's movements on the night she went missing. She had been with friends at NB's Nightclub in Northampton until 1.15am, and is thought to have got as far as Victoria Park, around a mile away, where her phone signal went dead.
Her body was found in a house in Stanley Rd, two streets away from Victoria Park.
An online fundraiser has been set up to raise money for Miss Chipchase's family.
Her former colleague, Aaron Shields, who said he was "proud" to have known her, set up the page.
More than $7000 has been raised through the JustGiving page so far.
- Additional reporting: The Daily Telegraph