A homeless man whose body was found floating in the Waikato River two days after Christmas had a partner and two children.
Tama Hurinui Retimana had been living in a "camping situation" with his partner on the banks of the Waikato River in Hamilton.
Police are working with Retimana's partner, and speaking with the local homeless population to establish how he died.
Hamilton police Detective Sergeant Terri Wilson said Retimana's family were waiting for answers after the 29-year-old's body was found in the river near Ann St about 7pm on December 27.
"Further enquires will be made over the course of the next few days to account for his movements during that period," Wilson said.
Police have also confirmed Retimana's camp site, where he was last seen on Christmas Day, is on the eastern side of the river near Pine Beach reserve, at the south end of River Rd.
Wilson said the deceased man's family, who were not in Hamilton, were coping well under the circumstances.
The family were receiving the full support of the police and Victim Support, he said.
According to Hamilton Christian Night Shelter manager Peter Humphreys, where Retimana sometimes stayed, he was a loner.
"He was slightly different to the others. He kept to himself. He got around a bit and he was quite resourceful."
Humphreys said Retimana had been staying at the shelter on and off for about 12 months and he last saw him about two months ago.
When he heard the news of a body discovered in the river by a kayaker on Tuesday night, Humphreys thought it would be one of the shelter's residents.
"I was thinking 'Oh it's one of my guys' and then today was the first time I got confirmation it was Tama."
Retimana was the third shelter resident to die this year, he said.
"Sometimes they come and stay with us for a while and then they'll move on. Sometimes they'll find accommodation and sometimes they'll go by the river because when it's warmer they tend to go outside."
Humphreys said he warned men at the shelter not to go near the river because it was so dangerous.
"If they fall in it's a dangerous place to be. It's difficult because nobody wants them on the street, nobody wants them in the bushes or the parks, and they end up in the place where they can hide the most and not get moved on from and that's by the river."
Police said Retimana was found in his boxers and socks and Humphreys said it was not uncommon for the homeless to wash at the river.
Retimana had associates but Humphreys was unaware whether the former Waihau Bay man had friends or a partner in Hamilton.
"I've seen him with a lady pushing a pram, but I'm not sure if they were associated just because they knew each other."
Police had been searching areas of the river upstream from Ann St to establish at which point Retimana entered the water, including the jetty off the Pine Beach reserve.
Tributes had begun appearing on social media for Retimana, who appears to belong to a large Eastern Bay of Plenty family.
The Herald understands members of his family have been advised by police not to speak to media.
Police appealed for information on the movements of Retimana leading up to the discovery of his body floating in the river. His death is being treated as suspicious.
• If you know anythign, call Hamilton police on (07) 858 6200 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.