Key Points:

The 80-year-old victim of a home invasion in south Auckland on Wednesday evening has died from her injuries.

Yin Ping Yang was brutally beaten by a man at her home in Saralee Place, Manurewa East, and admitted to Middlemore Hospital with serious internal injuries and fractured chest and rib bones.

Inspector Earle McIntosh, of Counties Manukau police, said Ms Yang died in hospital today, and that a homicide inquiry had now been launched.

A post-mortem is due to be carried out on Monday.

Police believe the home invasion may have lasted several hours.

Ms Yang, who had been bundled into a wardrobe, was found by her shocked son.

EARLIER TODAY:

A massive hunt is going on for the brutal attacker of an 80-year-old woman found battered and unconscious in her Manurewa home on Wednesday night.

The victim remained in a serious condition in Middlemore Hospital today in a home invasion police say might have lasted for several hours.

The woman, who had been bundled into a wardrobe, was found by her shocked son at her Saralee Drive home, a short distance from the liquor shop where Navtej Singh was fatally shot a week ago.

Police said it appeared to be a random attack on the woman who lived at the address with her son and grandchildren but was alone at the time.

The woman was found when her son returned by home about 10pm on Wednesday but the attack was thought to have occurred about 5.30pm.

Detective Inspector Mark Gutry from the Counties Manukau police said it was not known how the intruder entered the house and the first the woman was aware anything was wrong was when a hand was place over her mouth and she was assaulted.

She was forced into a wardrobe but managed to get free and collapsed unconscious on the living room floor where she was found by her son.

He initially thought she had fallen over and drove her to hospital where she was found to have internal injuries, including broken ribs.

When she regained consciousness the next day the woman said she had been attacked and police were informed. She was not believed to have been sexually violated.

Mr Gutry said there was no obvious motive for the attack.

"This is an assault on an 80-year-old woman who couldn't fight back and so we'd really like to get hold of this person before he hurts anyone else," he said.

- NZPA